Creating a Story: Part One-the Idea

I can’t remember where it was that I heard the comment that all it takes to write is passion, but it got me thinking. While I agree that passion is a necessary component, it is certainly not all it takes to create a story.

A story starts with an idea.  This idea comes from different places. Sometimes you are walking down the street and see something or hear something that inspires you. Other times a story comes from the small, but complicated question: what if? Most of my ideas come from dreams. I often wonder how many possible stories I have lost when I simply don’t recall my night-time wandering, but that is neither here nor there.

Once you have an idea get as much of it down as you can. For me this is usually perhaps a page or two of information. The overwhelming purpose of the story is known. I write romances so I know my two main characters will end up together. I also usually have a basic idea of what type of people they are and major issues/problems they have (either internal or external) since a large part of the story involves solving these problems or personal growth so that they can finally be together.

I may also have a couple of specific scenes in mind. If this is the case, I sketch these out without really worrying where they will go in the story; this will come later.

I also have to have some idea of a beginning, middle, and ending. Now, these are not set in stone and they don’t have to be exceptionally detailed. You could have something as simple as: she’s a writer, but very shy and worried she’s missing out on life.  The story starts with a trip to a small village in Ireland for research. He’s an intelligent farmer who stopped playing the field a while ago and thinks that there is one woman out there for him and he will know her when he sees her.

The middle that I’m referring to is pretty much the entire story, but don’t become alarmed because you only need the bare bones for now. Simply saying that she will gain confidence and he will learn patience and discover that things are not always as simple as he may wish is fine for now.

As for the ending, having an idea of what you want the final scene to look like or even have a few lines of dialogue is fine, but it is very likely to change and I don’t like to be tied into something that early on. In a romance I am content to say that, after struggling through the story, the hero and heroine fall in love and end up together.

I hope you have found this blog interesting or informative or both. I’ll be back with discussions on characterization, setting, and constructing the actual story.

Enjoy your reading and your writing.

Rose Connelly

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