Everyone wants to write a compelling story. Whether you are an entrepreneur who wants to tell your story, a fiction author setting out to create a compelling tale, or an aspiring playwright looking to take the stage by storm, crafting a compelling story is essential to connect with your audience.
Writing a compelling novel can be tricky and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. With this step-by-step guide on how to write a compelling novel, you’ll be able to create an unforgettable story in no time.
Why Would Someone Want to Write a Compelling Novel?
Believe it or not, there are numerous reasons someone would want to write a novel.
1. They want to exercise a creative outlet.
A way to exercise your creativity is beneficial for several reasons:
- It helps you deal with anxiety and stress.
- It gives you a sense of meaning and purpose.
- It creates space to overcome obstacles in life.
Writing a novel gives you the opportunity to explore new ideas, perspectives, and feelings that may have been previously repressed or unexpressed.
2. They want to pursue a career in creative writing.
Choosing a career path can be a challenge, but if you are a creative individual with a passion for writing, then pursuing a career in creative writing could be the right fit.
Writing a novel allows you to explore a variety of topics and gain an understanding of the craft that is essential for any aspiring author. It also provides an avenue to express yourself in ways that may be more difficult to do in other mediums.
Many creative authors also become ghostwriters, copywriters, and other high-value professionals in the field of writing.
3. They want to tell a story.
Everyone has a story to tell—whether it’s their own or someone else’s—and books are an excellent platform for getting those stories out into the world. Through creative writing, authors can explore new perspectives and gain insight into the human experience.
Novels provide a window into the minds and lives of others, allowing us to understand how they think and feel in ways we may never have imagined before.
4. They want to market their business.
Sometimes, creative writing can strongly benefit marketing campaigns. Entrepreneurs can write books to share their stories, establish credibility and build trust with potential customers.
Novels can also be used to introduce new products or services in an engaging way that educates the reader while providing a unique marketing perspective.
How to Write a Compelling Story [5 Easy Steps]
Like any creative task, the actual process of writing a story is abstract. But with a good plan in place, you can make it much easier to get started and stay consistent.
Here are five steps to help you craft a powerful story from start to finish:
1. Brainstorm & Research
Before anything else, you’ll need a source of inspiration for your story. Doing some brainstorming and research ahead of time can help you narrow down your ideas and generate some potential plot points.
You don’t necessarily have to write a book about something you know—you can always explore new topics through research. Doing so will give you an opportunity to gain insight into different cultures, lifestyles, and eras that can spark new ideas for your story.
Here are a few ideas to get started:
- Interview friends & family
- Take a look at current events
- Explore historical eras or moments in time
- Read books on similar topics
Cross-reference these things with your existing worldview and experiences to come up with an original story idea.
2. Develop Characters & Setting
Once you have a source of inspiration, the next step is to focus on developing your characters and setting. It’s important to create strong, multi-dimensional characters that people can relate to—especially if you are writing fiction.
Try coming up with a backstory for each character, including how they got to where they are today and why they’re reacting in certain ways.
The same goes for your setting. If you are writing a historical novel, research the era and create an atmosphere of authenticity. Remember that the more detail you include in your story, the more engaging it will be for readers.
There are a few critical components of character and storyline development:
- Character Arcs: Character arcs are the changes and transformations that a character takes throughout their journey in a story. It is a vital element of good storytelling, as it allows readers to experience the evolution of a character and understand their motivations and behaviour. Character arcs often involve some sort of change or self-realization, from start to finish.
- Setting: The setting is the backdrop of your story, and it’s essential to consider how this will impact all the characters and plot points. Think about where the action takes place, who lives there, and what types of cultures or customs can be explored through this setting.
- Supporting Characters: Supporting characters help to move the story forward and add more depth to your world. They should be dynamic, just like the main character, and are typically involved in some sort of conflict or challenge that they must overcome with the main character’s help.
When developing your setting, think of it like a movie set—if you can feel the atmosphere and get a sense of what it is like to be in that place, then your readers will too.
3. Outline Your Story Arc
Now it’s time to outline your story arc. This is the skeleton of your story—the framework that will keep everything in check and give you an idea of how it should progress.
Your outline should include all the major plot points, major characters and their arcs, and any themes or motifs that will be explored throughout the story. This can also be a good opportunity to identify any potential plot holes or areas that need to be fleshed out further.
4. Write The First Draft
Now the fun part—writing the first draft! Don’t worry about making it perfect from the start—just let your ideas flow and get all your thoughts down on paper (or, in this case, the computer). As you write, focus on creating vivid imagery and realistic dialogue that brings your characters to life.
It is also important to keep the momentum going, so don’t hesitate to jump between scenes or parts of the story. It’s okay if not everything makes sense at the moment—you can always go back later and make revisions.
There are plenty of writing tools that can help you stay organized and focused while writing, including:
- AI writing software: AI tools for writing help with writer’s block, grammar and formatting, and can even suggest words to use in specific contexts.
- Scrivener: This writing software helps you organize your ideas and keep track of different scenes or plot points. It also helps you export your work into different formats (like ebooks, print books, etc.).
- Google Docs: Perfect for collaboration with other writers—you can easily share ideas and edits.
5. Revise and Edit
Once you have your first draft, it’s time to go back through and make revisions. This could involve rearranging scenes, adding or removing characters, or even rewriting entire sections depending on how your plot develops.
At this stage, it’s also important to pay attention to the details of your story. While some parts may need more detail or explanation, it’s also important not to add too many unnecessary elements that don’t move the plot forward.
Before you publish your book, you should invest heavily in a solid editor who can provide you with valuable feedback and critiques. This will help make sure your story is as compelling as possible before it goes out into the world.
Endnote: Start Writing A Compelling Story Now!
Creating a compelling story from start to finish takes patience and dedication. But, with a bit of practice and the right tools, you can craft something that readers won’t be able to put down!
Just remember to take your time, focus on the details, and surround yourself with experienced writers who can provide valuable feedback throughout the process.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.