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How To Write A Story

How To Write A Story

A professional author guides viewers through the basics of how to construct a story, the essential elements and the questions that need to be answered to get started with writing.

How to write a story. Now, one of the first things you have to decide is how long a story are you looking at? They can be very short. In fact, the classic, supposedly the world's shortest story was written by Ernest Hemingway and it was “for sale baby shoes, never worn”.

 Pretty tragic for 6 words or however many words it is. So, you can go from that, and there's a lot of that about these days, these very short flash fiction, it's sometimes called, to 10,000 or 15,000 words. So, of course, that will affect what shape your story has.

But the key thing you have to decide, first of all, is who's your main character? And what are they like? And what happens to this person? That usually forms the story. Oftentimes, there's also conflict within the story and there are many different kinds of conflict possible. So, if you've got a person, they may be in conflict with another person or they may be in conflict with nature, for example, man against the elements.

They may be in conflict with themselves, this is internal conflict. So, someone, for example, who has, let's say, a gambling problem has that impulse to gamble but he knows this is costing him his marriage and his family life and yet that conflict exists and it fights back and forth. So, the conflict at the heart of the story often is what really makes it interesting, makes people want to find out what happens at the end.

That's another thing to think about, what do you want to have happen at the end? In stories, sometimes, things have changed or sometimes, they've stayed the same but the reader has a deeper understanding of the kind of characters or situation that you've been writing about. Don't try to copy anybody else's style when you do your story, just write it the way you would like to and your own style will emerge. Do also remember to refer to several senses.

In other words, refer to what people are doing so we can see it, we can hear them talking, we can perhaps have an emotional response to what they're doing. You may even talk about certain smells, for example, hospitals, they have a smell, or schools, so those things all help a story to come alive. So, just to summarize now, to create a story, decide on who's it about, your main character.

What happens to them? Often, this means conflict, and what is the end of the story? And in the process, make it come alive by using details and appealing to all the senses. And that's how to write a story.