The Building Blocks of a Novel, Part 3: Story and Plot

The Building Blocks of a Novel, Part 3: Story and Plot

Writing a novel is hard work. Everyone who has written a novel or tried to write one (or several) would most likely agree with that.

Much of the struggle today—besides from the writer’s fear of failure or judgment or feeling like a fraud or the like—is based in overcomplicating things. The fictional world the story is set in has to be rich in details, the characters complex and fully fleshed out, the scenes meticulously described, the characters’ actions explained so the reader gets what the writer wants to say or show, and so on.

That’s enough to get anyone overwhelmed.

There is, however, a way to make the process of writing a story a lot easier (at least in the beginning so you have a place to start because starting is the first step to actually getting somewhere). This solution I’m talking about is to simply break everything down into the most basic building blocks of a novel.

What is it that a novel truly needs? A world, a cast of characters, and a story/plot. This is the foundation of every novel and it is the place to start (you can figure out everything else later).

In this post, I’ll be writing about story and plot, the place they have in the novel, why they are important, and give you tips on how to structure and develop them to fit your novel.

What is a Scene and How to Write One: 9 Simple Steps

What is a Scene and How to Write One: 9 Simple Steps

Every story is built up with a varied number of scenes. In turn, every scene is built up with their own variables like location, character, time, plot, conflict, etc. To write a novel (or a short story, novella, etc.) you need to come to terms with that a story is written scene by scene (the length of your story will determine how many scenes you’ll need). It can, however, be tricky to write scenes—especially if you don’t exactly know what it means. It took me a while to wrap my head around the idea of thinking of a story being built up by scenes. Which is why I’ve written this blog post.

Here, I will share 9 steps on how to write a scene.

One Way to Beat Writer’s Block: Find the Interesting in Every Scene

One Way to Beat Writer’s Block: Find the Interesting in Every Scene

I have found that writer’s block can be beaten with something as simple as finding the interesting in every scene that make up your story. It will always be easier to write when feeling intrigued by what you create. In this blog post, I will therefore show you a simple way to beat writer’s block by finding the interesting in every scene of your story.

Get to Know Your Characters with Character Interviews: 115 Questions

Get to Know Your Characters with Character Interviews: 115 Questions

To be able to intrigue a reader, the most important thing is to have great characters. Characters should live, feel, express, and act like real people to be seen as genuine. Therefore, it’s important to get to know your characters as much as possible to be able to portray them as genuine as possible. A great way to get to know your characters is to ask questions about them and answer as honestly as possible from their perspective. That’s why I’ve created a list of questions below. Use as many or as few as you want and get to know your characters more closely. Use the questions as you would in an interview. I personally find this easier to get into the heads of my characters.

Worldbuilding Questions to use When Outlining Your Story: 10 Questions to Consider

Worldbuilding Questions to use When Outlining Your Story: 10 Questions to Consider

No matter if you create a story within a real or fictional place, you need to know some things about your chosen place to create an as genuine setting for your story as possible. As a means of help you can use some of the questions below when developing your story. Write down the name of your chosen place at the top of a paper (physical or virtual) and use the questions below as a guide to explore your chosen place. Use them as a means to brainstorm, do research, or just to get inspiration.

How to Outline Your Book with ”What if” Questions: Use These 4 Steps

How to Outline Your Book with ”What if” Questions: Use These 4 Steps

Every story begins with an idea (an event, a scene, a character, a setting, a theme, etc.), and most ideas begin with a question and a sense of curiosity. Most of those questions start with ”What if…”.

”What if…” questions can vary in a million different ways. They can ask questions about the plot, scenes, characters, and everything else that constructs a story. There are no limits.

Perhaps not all stories begin with these ”what if…” questions articulated, however, most stories are ultimately inspired by questions like these.

Begin Crafting Your Book with Pre-Outline Questions: For Fiction and Non-Fiction

Begin Crafting Your Book with Pre-Outline Questions: For Fiction and Non-Fiction

When you create a story you usually begin with a general idea. Perhaps you have a certain character in mind, a specific setting (real or fictional), a conflict, a theme, etc. No matter what you start off with, that general idea needs to be developed. That’s where the pre-outline questions come in. Answering the pre-outline questions that follow will help you to establish what you want with your book, what you want your book to be, in some bigger strokes what kind of plot you want to have, what kind of characters you want to write about, etc. For those of you who write non-fiction, you will get to answer questions about your niche and develop ideas from that.

An Introduction to Outlining Your Story: 6 Reasons Why You Should

An Introduction to Outlining Your Story: 6 Reasons Why You Should

Outlining is a matter of debate among authors — both aspiring and professional. Some say it kills the creative experience and process of writing the story from start to finish, some say it’s a lifesaver. If you are new to writing and/or the concept of outlining, you might want to know what an outline is, why you should outline your story, and how?