The past weeks have been stressful because of all the papers I have to write and the deadlines I have to meet. Being a student sucks… well, only kinda. So now that I found a bit of time to continue blogging, I’d write a post about the 2nd thing on my list. Though I prefer to write a review about the movies I’ve been watching (Olympus Has Fallen captured my heart big time!), I’ll save that for another time.
Now, I am tasked to write a comprehensive tutorial about something. I consider myself as Jack of all trade, master of none. I really don’t excel at many things but I’d like to believe that I do excel at writing (I hope so!) so I’d do a tutorial about how to write a kick-ass story.
I’m writing in this platform called Wattpad and so far, it’s been sooo good to me. I’m currently an exclusive writer for Summit Media’s imprint Pop Fiction and as of December 2015, I already have 6 books and 2 to be published. Life’s good!
So, how to write?
- Before you even begin to write, please do review your grammar. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who gets turned off if the writer’s grammar is horrible. I cringe at those obvious grammar lapses. I can tolerate the minor lapses but those obvious ones? Nope. So before you begin writing once upon a time, grab your English grammar textbook and do a refresher. Trust me, no reader would want to read stories that are plagued with cringe-worthy grammar errors.
- Think about a plot that you think is interesting. Of course it is important that it is interesting so that readers would want to read your work. Let’s stop being hypocrites and say that we’re writing for ourselves. I mean, sure, we do write for ourselves. But let us not deny that deep inside us, we like it when someone reads our works. It gives us this feeling of satisfaction to know that someone do like what we wrote. So before you write your first word, think of a plot that’s interesting enough that the readers will follow to the end.
- Name your characters. If you think names are not important, you’re wrong. Your readers will be invested in your character. They will talk about your character. Your characters’ names will be on the mouth of your readers so be sure that your characters’ names are good enough and will be remembered. Also, avoid using names that are already affiliated with certain stories. For example, Kenji and Athena are already connected with SDTG, Drake and Alys with SDP (Ha! Self-promote!). So make your own trademark and create a character that you can own.
- Click-bait title. Admit it or not, title is a very important factor when it comes to reading a story. If your title is lame, chances are readers won’t even bother to read your story. But if your title is interesting, trust me, readers will flock your story. So before you post, think. Think really, really hard because the title could possibly make or break your writing career.
- 1st or 2nd or 3rd POV. Choose which point of view you would want to take. I think there are pros with every one of them but personally, I like using the 1st POV because it lets me describe the character’s personality more. It makes the readers more invested because they get to read that character’s thoughts and feelings. And it’s easier to use because you’re like just narrating. And you get to keep the secrets because you’re only using one perspective! But some people prefer the 3rd because they get to explore all of the characters and it has this omniscient feels. It’s a good perspective but I’m not that comfortable with it so I’m sticking to the 1st one. Though the 2nd one is really interesting but I’m finding it hard to use.
- Write an interesting prologue. This one is critical because it is the first thing that the readers would read. Now, if you’re already an established writer with a strong following, your prologue wouldn’t matter that match because they already know that you can write good. But if you’re a beginner writer, your prologue will be the basis if they would want to continue reading your story so be creative and be interesting. It need not be long, just interesting enough to make them want to read more.
- Shock them with your plot twist. Readers love twists! It makes them crazy knowing that you’ve been cooking things under your sleeves. Don’t be boring. Avoid linear storyline and always keep your readers on their toes. I personally dislike predictable stories (but I do enjoy those kind when the writer’s really good with narration). So avoid being boring and be surprising. Plan your twist ahead so you could put clues along the way and make your readers go, “Oh my gosh! I knew it! It’s been there all along, I just didn’t notice!”
- Balance your narration and dialogue. I personally like writing narration more because I get to describe the scenario and the character’s feelings with more depth. Though some readers prefer to read more dialogues, I think there should be a balance between the two. It’s too informal if it’s pure dialogue; it’s too boring if there’s too much narration. Balance between the two should do the trick.
- Make them go gaga over your characters. If your readers love your character? Trust me, they will stick until the end even if your plot goes downhill simply because they love your character. So make your character unique and lovable because it could be your secret ingredient to having that success story that you’ve been dreaming about.
- An ending to remember. End your story with a bang. Make them sad because the story already ended. Make them want to read more of your stories because you’re that good. And don’t stretch your story for too long because it might get boring. End it while it’s still hot. Quality over quantity always, remember. It’s not about how many chapters you have but about how your story has been etched in your readers’ heart.
But to be honest, there is no single way or step that would help you write that story. Just write, alright? It’s the best advice. If the first story didn’t gather much buzz, write a second one. I’m sure soon enough, you’ll have the plethora of readers that you’ve been waiting for. All of the top writers today didn’t automatically have thousands of readers. Of course it’s a step by step process. Sometimes it takes years; sometimes just months. It just depends on your luck… but pretty sure your time will come.
So don’t give up and keep on writing that once upon a time until you reach your own happily ever after!