Saturday, February 8, 2014

Ask questions to find your story.

 Do you remember those famous reporter's questions? Who, what, when, why and how? They are just as important when you begin framing your story. They are the building blocks of a good beginning and will carry throughout your entire story.

I'm taking it a little further with my next story, I'm going to put each component on a story board. That can be anything from a bulletin board that's separated into chapters, to your outline in a ring binder. I prefer the ring binder because of limited space. I can move ideas around, plus I use sticky notes to add other ideas to each component.

Along with the original questions, I like to add other questions about each component. Who was he? Why did I choose him? Will he be the best character for this story? What is his physical and psychological makeup? How does he best serve the other characters in the story? The list of questions is as endless as your imagination.

By building a story board or outline, I get a full sense of the story before writing a single word. It takes a little bit of work, but when I'm finished, I can write without distraction. (I should have done this on my last story that had me so stuck!)

Enjoy your writing!

Ever give up a good writing concept for fear that someone else has already done it?


  1. This is excellent advice, and I had not thought of using a story board. Thanks Karen.

  2. Fanny: Good luck with whatever you try! I am working on an outline right now. I always thought of a story board as pictures, but a writer can use the same idea with 3x5 cards.