Story writing can be a challenging endeavor. It’s daunting to bring your ideas to life and onto paper. But it’s one of the most rewarding projects.
Jeff Benedict, an American author, has some great tips to help your creative flow. As a novelist, Benedict explains tips and tricks that will help you learn how to turn your story ideas into a real project. You’ll be able to use these ideas to help you write something that you’re excited about and proud of.
Prioritize the Storyline
Jeff Benedict asks two common questions when it comes to prioritizing your storyline ideas. When he talked about his 2018 book, Tiger Woods, he had explained that he and his team spent hours on formatting the storyline. These questions are going to be the beginning of putting your story to pen and paper.
“What is the process of sequences that you’re trying to use?”Jeff Benedict
How do you want your story to go? What is the plot? The setting? What are you looking to accomplish in this story that no one else has written yet? What kind of character arcs will there be? Where are the characters from? How many characters will there be? How will your story flow? The sequencing process is really important in beginning your story because this is where you figure out how the whole narrative will go. This is the part in which your writing gets a format to follow.
“What point of view is being used?”Jeff Benedict
Who’s telling your story? You, as the narrator? Or the main character? How do you suspect your chapters will go? Who’s guiding the readers through the journey? It is up to you to figure out who the storyteller is, and what the importance is to that figure telling the story. These are just some of the beginning few things to think about while you’re bringing your story to reality.
The Importance of Chronology
Chronology in a story is crucial. There are several ways to make a sequential order flow. What matters is how the progression comes to an end, and if it all made sense.
“Here’s a rule of thumb: people don’t typically start at the beginning of the story. People establish connections between the beginning of the story and the middle or end of the story first.”Jeff Benedict
Starting at the beginning of the story after you’ve established initial connections is an excellent approach to story writing. Holding the timeline from thereon is how to keep the chronology in order and the storyline fresh. I work backward. Whether I’m writing a narrative, an essay, or an article, I start in the middle with the key components that make the writing piece what it is. I construct a conclusion after I’ve established the middle ground, and then I start at the top. When it comes to writing a story, start in the middle of the chapter. What’s the climax of the chapter, what’s the importance of it in there? How does the chapter conclude? And then focus on what starts the chapter itself. Work backward.
“Establish and form your timelines early, and provide details in every possible way that you can.”Jeff Benedict
Establishing your timelines and providing details at the right moments is what can make a writing piece great. In a story, you typically have one general storyline, but your characters have to go through their own journeys in fitting with your one big storyline. What do the chapters offer in your character’s path? This is where your details come into place. While creating your chapter circumstances and character arcs, the details will all fill in for the main storyline at hand. Practicing these things keeps all of your ideas for the narrative fresh and on point.
The Story-Writing Process
As you could have guessed, the beginning of your story is a crucial part of the writing process. It’s where the magic starts. It’s where the adventure begins. Establishing a beginning is a good idea!
“The beginning of your story is a critical part in leading the reader on a journey.”Jeff Benedict
A writer is a guide in the journey in which the reader will embark. The beginning of your story is going to be the first big deal in getting the reader interested in the rest of the story. What are you bringing to the table that other writers or novels aren’t? Why do you want the reader to pick up your book, your story? What is motivating you to write? What’s motivating you to finish this project? The beginning of your story has to be just as big.
“The end of your story is the writer’s job in leaving the reader yearning to figure out what happens next.”Jeff Benedict
The writer has to decide what they want to leave their reader off with. What impressions are you trying to leave? Are you writing one story or a series? Are you wrapping the story up with a bow, or are there cliffhangers? What is going to urge your readers to keep turning the pages? What is going to keep your readers interested in the content?
“What is left visually?”Jeff Benedict
The content of the beginning and end of a story can make the difference between a reader picking up the next book or walking away from the series. What is your story going to do for the reader? How do you want your reader to feel? How do you want to feel after writing it? Would you read your own story? Will you feel proud of the project?
Dwelling too long on points or concepts in the story wastes time. It wastes the reader’s time and yours in the writing process. Your story will eventually come together how it’s supposed to. Writing a story is hard enough already, so the best thing to do when you feel stuck on an idea that hasn’t quite made its way into the plot is just to keep writing anyway.
“Sometimes saying less is actually saying more.”Jeff Benedict
It’s important to state facts relevant to the story creatively and appealingly. But re-explaining something that’s already been said is a pointless game. This is an excellent tip for me that I try to follow because when I write, I tend to have lots to say. It’s good to practice continually moving forward and allowing the piece to come together.
“Unless it’s actually relevant to the storyline and current situation, don’t dwell. The readers are bound to pick up on what you’re trying to show.”Jeff Benedict
Your readers are going to pick up on your story plan and design, so just keep writing. There is always time for improvements and refining the content. Don’t dwell on the puzzle pieces that haven’t quite fit into the story yet, because it all comes together eventually. Just keep writing.
Story writing can be difficult and frustrating. But the patience to create is what brings the biggest reward to the table. Write on, don’t quit, and watch your story come to life.