Storyline & Introduction

We are almost ready to start writing!
At this point you have many of the elements needed to start your story…

You have your idea, your theme and your main characters. You have also decided on the point of view from which to tell your story…

But what about the plot? What is that?
The plot is another word to describe your storyline. You will have briefly sketched out your plan for your story back when we did the story mapping. Now is the time to start thinking about fleshing that out.

Where will the story take you? What are your aims for the beginning, middle and end? Will there be a plot twist? How do you plan to surprise your reader, if at all?

The aim of every author is to attract readers to their writing but equally as important is retaining those readers’ interest.

Attracting readers is down to a good introduction (more to follow) and you can keep them interested by ensuring that you are consistent in your quality.

Let’s look at how to keep the reader reading, before we write our introduction…What are the vital elements in achieving this?

Pace – keep the prose and the dialogue tight, no waffling. Have your plan and stick to it. Don’t spend too long on unnecessary detail and use dialogue as well as description, to move the story along.

Suspense/Mystery – do you regularly hint at something that the reader really wants to find out?
Romance – is there the possibility of two characters falling in love?

A rift – have two people fallen out and the reader wants them to sort it out?
Humour – are you funny enough to carry the story through to conclusion?

REMEMBER that only some, not all, of these elements are necessary within one story.

Another aspect that will retain your readers’ interest is the characters and the relationships between them.

Is there a significant connection that will keep readers hooked? A romance, a friendship or a sibling rivalry… Make sure that your characters interact and that they matter to each other. Have your reader care about your characters.

This will make them want to see where the story goes and thus ensure they read to the end.

Now it’s time to get those readers interested by writing that Introduction and the rest will follow…

So what makes a good introduction?
Setting the scene, being descriptive and drawing the reader in – have them want to follow you into your world. Grab attention with your first line – does it shock or is it fantastical?

Stick to the point and introduce quirky/interesting characters.
Darren was convinced that he could hear his heart beating in his chest. Despite the fact that the wind was howling and his sister continued to cry in his ear, he was sure it was booming loudly.

So, you have your plan! You know your characters; you’ve mapped your story out. You are ready for this. Let’s get writing!
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