Trying something new: writing stories

Written by Priya Patel

With all the free time I’ve had lately, I decided to put it to good use. My whole life, I have always loved to write stories. When I was younger, they were about princesses and knights and as I grew up, the fairytale creatures faded away, but romantic themes remained. The princesses turned into normal teenage girls and the knights into hunky boys. Writing is my escape from reality, where anything can happen at any moment. Because I am so bored, I wanted to try something new while quarantined in the house. I thought, what better time to sit down and write my own story than now. Even though I’ve written before, I will be writing a whole novel this time. 

Now, while many people think authors just sit down and start writing, the process is actually much more involved. First, you must pick the genre of book you’d like to write. In my experience, romance has been the easiest genre for me. Ideas involving drama, heartbreak and love flow onto the page, so I chose this easily. The next step is finding your inspiration. You need to find something you can write about for hours without getting bored. I based my story on a true life event so the writing would be easy and personal. The best thing to do when finding a subject to write about is to pull inspiration from true life events. This could be a story someone told you or something you actually went through. 

After I had decided on a subject, I moved to start outlining my book. This is all new to me, so I had to go with my gut for this. I started by deciding that my book would be in third person, with the two main characters’ perspectives switching back and forth in the chapters. As I developed my characters, I leaned into ideas of people who are already in my life. I took traits from these people I liked, while leaving out the traits I didn’t agree with. After my characters were developed, I started on the plot. My story is a romance so I needed to build suspense before finally introducing my two characters. This is what authors call the exposition of  a story. 

After the exposition, I introduced the characters and captured their journey. This is the rising action. I then needed a climax, the falling action and a resolution. After outlining these five main plot points, I split the story into chapters and parts, which keeps it organized in the mind of the reader. My story has 22 chapters and three parts. I’ve been working and writing nonstop, driven by my boredom and passion for the story I am telling. I’ve written four chapters so far, at about 2000 words each. On average, book chapters can be anywhere between 1500-5000 words. Anything outside of this range is awkward and weird for a reader to follow. 

Now that you have these tips, I hope your quarantine gets a little more entertaining. You don’t have to sit down and write the next “War and Peace,” but writing even short stories can be a fun way to flex your brain muscles and practice writing in a fun way! If writing isn’t your biggest talent, you can still try doing something new to express yourself! Learn an instrument, draw something, paint, read or sing! Workout, try yoga, learn to knit, do something! We’ve been blessed with unusual amounts of free time, so make the most of it and try doing something you’ve always wanted to do. It may just surprise you!

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