Sunday, April 14, 2013


Things to know when starting a book:

* Introduce ONLY the most important characters--too many characters can be confusing.

* Introduce your characters in an active way -- while they are doing something even if it's just walking out of school. If they are talking, the conversation should lead into the story problem. Usually that means the heroine has something she wants and the story will show how she tries to get what she wants -- and sometimes she won't get it but will learn something about herself instead.

* Don't explain too much in the opening. Lead into the heroine's story problem. For instance if she's afraid to leave the house but her mother is kidnapped, she'll have to overcome her fears to rescue her mom. The opening wouldn't start at the kidnapping but show her arguing with her mom about never leaving the house--then right after she yells to her mother that she never wants to see her again, her mother is kidnapped--this sets up an external problem (kidnapping) and internal problem (getting along with her mother).

*Think of your story in 3 parts: beginning, middle and ending. The beginning introduces characters, sets up problems. Middle is action that rises both internally and externally. Ending is not always happy but the problem is solved; perhaps her mother is rescued but someone else is hurt along the way.

* Have fun with your story. Don't worry about making it perfect in the right draft. Rewriting is the best writing. Just write the storythen go back and improve it by rewriting and it can help to find a critique group either online or in person. Oh and go to for writing advice