Story Writing Tips

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Hello! I am going to be writing some story writing tips. Basically, most of the chapters are going to cover a different aspect of story writing. For other chapters, I can take questions from people and write the answers. If you would like to submit a question, please either write it in the comment section or message me. Also, let me know if you would like for your question to remain anonymous. Don't be afraid to ask your question for any reason!

Chapter 1

Part One: Characters

One important thing to a good story is the characters. There are many different types of characters, including the ones that you root for, the comedic relief, the one you love to hate, the lovable side character and many more.

In order to have these good characters, they need to have a certain amount of depth. Character depth includes both painting a vivid picture of their personality, giving your characters dimension, and providing readers with a bit of insight concerning their backstory.

Aside from character development, characters need a fairly consistent personality. Don’t just tell readers about your characters traits, but incorporate them in their actions and the things that they say. Give them a voice. Use of dialect can be very helpful when doing this. One key thing to giving your character a voice is a strong use of tone when they speak. Make sure that what they say emulates their personality, however, they don’t have to be completely predictable. Surprising readers which character development is not an issue. This can make your character easier for readers to like, love, hate or be neutral on.

In order to have a good amount of character depth, dimension is very important. Just because a character is sarcastic doesn’t mean that the world will come to an end if they use straight talk every now and then. It’s actually better that they do you use straight talk. And if a character is smart, don’t make that all there is to them. Especially take caution when creating your side characters. It is really easy to give your side characters no kind of dimension. However, dull side characters can make a story dull. Just, be careful of this with side characters. Having good dimension means that your main character can’t be a Mary Sue or a Gary Stew.

If you don’t know what a Mary Sue or a Gary Stew is, then here is a bit of an explanation:

They are almost perfect characters. Your character doesn’t have to be completely perfect to be a Mary Sue or Gary Stew. Be very careful especially with female characters, because Mary Sues are much more common than Gary Stews in writing. I am going to do a brief character bios (I don’t believe in ever posting character bios in your story at all. If it will help you to create your character, then fine. Otherwise, don’t).

Character Bio
Name: Mary Sue
Appearance: Tall, skinny, bright blue eyes, fair skin, blond hair, straight, white teeth, long eyelashes, nice eyebrows
Personality: does well in school, smart, pretty, well liked, likable, kind, caring, clever, athletic, talented in general

Look especially at the personality. If this seems to resemble your character, they might be a Mary Sue or Gary Stew. Don’t make them that. If you want a likable protagonist, then make them relatable. They don’t need to completely fail at life, but having them screw up every once in a while can be a good thing. They can be good at something, but not at everything. And don’t think that it’s okay if you make them good at everything but one thing. They could still be a Mary Sue or Gary Stew.

Another way of giving your characters depth is backstory. Backstory helps to engage readers and get to know a character better. One way that you can do it is by giving their backstory in bits and pieces. It’s okay and even good to leave readers with a few questions about the character’s backstory that will be answered throughout the story.

Here are the main things that you should think about while creating your characters:
Don’t make them perfect
Don’t give them a one sided personality
Make them a least somewhat interesting
Give them backstories
Give them a good balance of negative and positive traits
Give them a voice

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