You’re ready to become the ultimate writer. You have so many crazy ideas, and inspirations drawn from many of your favorite authors, novels, movies, and whatnots. You sit down, and try to pen down the first word that comes to your mind, and that’s when you come to face the ultimate question that would decide your writing career. ‘What should I write about?’
Writers of all kinds, and types have faced this question one time, or the other. You may have managed to write in a few paragraphs, and then stop blank. It is easy to get excited by an idea, or an inspiration, and want to immediately start writing about it. But would it be worth spending hours if not years spending in something just because you liked the idea of it inside your head?
It’s easy to get overexcited by an idea, but sometimes you may not have enough content to write about it, and you often get stuck at the first chapter, not knowing how to go past it. If this sounds like you, I’m here to help you find that one idea to help you get started. This isn’t a concrete set of rules. These are just tips to help you de-clutter your ideas, and help you get started on your writing journey.
- Find an idea to obsess about.
This might sound a little bit unusual, but hear me on this one. Your idea or concept is like your crush, and your final story is going to be your spouse. You’re going to live with it for the rest of your life. No matter how many stories you write, you’re going to have each one of your books linked to you, just like all your exes. So if you don’t think you can spend enough time, and effort in getting to know about your idea, finding out what works, and what does not, the idea is probably not worth it.
Writing a novel doesn’t happen overnight. It takes months of all nighters, and for some of us even years to complete one book. That requires commitment to a whole new level. If you don’t think you could promise yourself that, you might as well drop it, and move onto the next idea. It’s better to be honest with yourself, and let go off an idea in the beginning, rather than get hooked onto it, only to end up in a nasty divorce, and a pile of regret over wasted time.
2. Love what you choose.
Okay, now you’re geared up on your seat, and pronounced your vows of committing to your idea till death do you apart, (or writer’s block for most of us writers). What now? The key factor that could make a difference between just enduring the pain of commitment, and actively combating obstacle to stay committed lies in your answer to whether you love your idea, or not.
Having to write about a super hero who goes through great pains to save the world could be super exciting, but only if you feel it’s super exciting for you. Don’t choose something you don’t love just because it’s something everybody else is talking about. If exploring unearthed parts of Mars as an alien from Jupiter is what excites you, go ahead and write about it.
Choosing to be the popular girl might give you the good image in public, but sooner, or later, your dislike for what you chose could seep into the words you write, and your readers could very well see right through it. So ditch the popular girl image, and go for the closeted nerd that you truly are. You’re gonna thank yourself in the long run. If you don’t believe me, watch every cliched high school movie ever, and you’ll find the truth for yourself.
3. Know what you love.
Okay, now you’ve chosen the love of your life, you must be excited to have your happily ever after, and finish that novel in one go. Well, not quite yet. Sleeping Beauty may be ready to give away the rest of her life to a stranger just because he was a creep who kissed her in her sleep, but real life isn’t that simple (or creepy). As a wise man once asked, ‘What if you hate the way he picks his nose, and eats it?‘ (That’s Kristoff from Frozen by the way).
So why am I giving you relationship advice, when I should be talking (or writing) about writing?
Well, it’s just to let you know how important it is for you to know about your subject well enough before you decide if it’s worth spending much of your time on it, or not!
So let’s think about it this way. You choose to write about that that super creature in Mars. Obviously, it’s all fictional, but even fiction has some essence of truth in it to make it believable. Otherwise it is known as C-R-A-P in modern literature. And to make this impossible world of fiction believable, you need to know the truth behind what you write.
Get to know about Mars.
Get to know about Jupiter.
Get to know about space, and everything else in between.
That’s the way you’re going to know that Jupiter is just a mass of atmosphere, and does not have a concrete surface like Earth for creatures to walk on. (Yes, I googled that). If you were planning to have super cool space vehicles to launch from Jupiter, now you’re going to know there isn’t a land for it to be launched from in the first place, and you will have to either select another planet with a surface as your launching pad, or find a super cool way to create floating buildings made of clouds, and gases. Now that seems more believable even though it is impossible.
4. Find something relevant to you.
Any relationship, platonic or romantic, is only going to last as long as there is some understanding between the two parties involved; or in this case between you, and your plot idea.
Now imagine you’re trying to find information on Jupiter, and Mars for your space novel, and you come across terms such as, Ganymede, hydrogen, and helium. The whole concept is pretty much going to revolve around physics, space, and other science-y stuffs. If you’re a science fanatic, well great for you. If not, you might as well try something more relevant to you; a subject that both interests you, and also something you have some knowledge about.
If you’re a romance enthusiast, you might as well write a romance between a Jupiter-ian , and a Martian. If you’re into business, you could write a novel about the downfall of the Jupiter economy, and how the business tycoons of Mars step into to takeover Jupiter, becoming the leading supplier of Hydrogen in the whole universe.
The possibilities are endless. You just have to find out what aspect of yourself you’re willing to devote into your story.
5. Stick to what you’ve decided.
When you have an over imaginative mind, there is a high possibility that you come with three or more plot lines for a story instead of one. It all sounds great inside your head, and you don’t want to just choose one. This becomes the crucial point in your novel plotting.
You could have a romance story with business as a means to join the protagonist like in billionaire romance stories. You could have a business rivalry story with a romance on the sideline like every other book, or movie out there. It’s pretty easy to incorporate two or three themes into your plot line and make it all tie in together as one, as long as they are not three different stories.
But what if you want to have the first act of your novel on business alone, the second act on love, and the third act on family. That’s going to sound like three different stories written under the same title. Instead, try to incorporate all the themes together as one single plot line of action. Decide what the main focus of your novel is going to be about, what’s going to be the side plot, and what’s going to be some minor details to be added.
Now you have all three stories in a single plot line under a single name.
Mr. Jupiter could have his Hydrogen export business taken over by Mr. Mars, and in order to get revenge, he could go into their planet and plan to undermine the Iron oxide business, only to find it run by a beautiful Ms. Mars, who happens to be Mr. Mars’ sister, and also his own brother Mr. Mercury’s lover, and now he has to choose between love, revenge, and family.
That’s how you incorporate different plot lines together as one. But what’s important is that you maintain what your novel is about. Primarily this is a rivalry story between Mr. Jupiter, and Mr. Mars. Just because Mr. Jupiter falls in love with Ms. Mars doesn’t mean the rivalry between the two business tycoons is forgotten, and all of a sudden there is nothing more about Mr. Mars in the novel. Decide what your novel’s focus is and stick to it without getting distracted by the other minor plot lines.
So that’s the end of our blog post on “How to find the plot line of your story?” Let’s recap all that we’ve pointed out earlier!
Choose an idea you don’t mind spending a lot of time over!
Make sure you love the idea that you choose!
Know everything you need to about the idea!
Relate yourself, and what you already know to form the core of the plot!
Stick to your main plot line without getting distracted by your subplots!
And there you are, finally ready to begin your journey with your new book! I hope you found this post useful, and please do let me know what other ways you use to form a plot for your story. I would love to hear it from you. If you have any other queries about writing stories in general, please don’t feel shy to ask a question in the comments below, or check out my blog where I talk about writing stories in detail from my experience in writing stories on Wattpad for the past 5 years. I hope you finally begin your wonderful writing journey that you promised yourself!
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