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"Ciabatta after first rise" by Rebecca Siegel

“Ciabatta after first rise” by Rebecca Siegel

I love some of Jordan Dane’s posts. This one is a keeper.

5 Key Steps to Develop a Story from Scratch
https://killzoneblog.com/2015/09/5-key-steps-to-develop-a-story-from-scratch.html

Here are some choice quotes:

  1. Imagine basic ‘what ifs” about a potential character (a storyteller) and a problem
  2. Next, whose story will it be?
  3. What is the external conflict between the main players (villain or adversary included)?
  4. What’s at stake & how will the stakes escalate and play out?
  5. Now draft your “pitch” or a premise.

Jordan Dane’s unpacked explanations offer real insight on this thorny process which is really the whole process of writing in microcosm. And that’s good advice you can take to the bank.

A good premise should:

  • Be concise
  • Be evocative
  • Be framed from a “what if” question
  • Be written in present tense with an easily understood sentence structure that makes the story seem familiar yet with a hook or difference to stand out from other books.
  • It should contain a character, a conflict, and a hook.
  • It should have universal appeal
  • Be limited in word count (maybe up to 35 words or less, or 2-3 concise sentences)
  • The core story should be centered on an idea that jumps out at anyone.

I recommend reading the entire article and applying it to a future work-in-progress.

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Source: Novel Journey: Interview with Tim Maleeny.

The ideas that can drive a story immediately lead to questions. What happens next? Why did she do that? Who killed him? What would you do under similar circumstances? If a premise doesn’t lead to an endless series of questions, it won’t sustain a novel-length story.

Practical advice.

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