‘The key to a great story is not who, or what, or when, but why.’ Elliot Carver, Tomorrow Never Dies
Two years ago this quote from Tomorrow Never Dies got stuck in my head. Since then I have been very slowly building up a blog series called ‘The Key to a Great Story’. I say slow because various others parts of my life have sort of got in the way of me finishing it and other parts have just sapped all of my motivation to have anything to do with the idea I had lumped myself with completing .
The who, what, where, when, why and how a story takes shape are all fundamental to writing fiction. I would certainly agree that the ‘why’ is the most important of them all, but I think that if you do not have the basics of the rest put in place as well, the reader doesn’t care why a story is being told.
So far I’ve managed to build up a series of posts about characters (who) and plot (what), but before I launch myself into developing the world building and timelines (where and when) I actually want to personally revisit what I have so far written, and perhaps do a few revisions, mainly because I did do it in bits and pieces.
My aim is still to be a guide as to how to start writing books if you are an absolute beginner. I will have an emphasis on fantasy and science fiction, mainly because those are the sorts of stories I am drawn to the most. They aren’t rules and many of the principles could be used for other types of fiction writing, such as short stories and scripts. This is simply how I would advise someone to begin to learn how to write before they find the confidence to fly the nest and do it the way that suits them the best.
My first few posts will be about writing in general; learning to harness your fear, your stubbornness and the ‘Writer’s Twitch’.