You love to write stories, but you’re not sure if you’re doing it the right way.

I mean …

Maybe you have great basic concepts but aren’t sure how to build those into a cohesive theme.

Or maybe your theme is crystal clear in your mind, but you struggle to put together a compelling plot.

Or maybe, you just don’t know which story structure best fits your golden idea.

You’re not alone — writing fiction is hard, and none of us is sure about the best path forward all the time. Fortunately, precisely because we all search for answers on a regular basis, your fellow authors are also more than willing to share those answers with you when they find them.

Want a handy PDF version of this guide? Just click here to download your copy now.

The Internet is full of great writing advice if you know where to find it.

And that’s what this guide is all about — bringing the best information on the web about all facets of writing a great story together in one place.

Below you’ll find more than 100 awesome articles by some of the most accomplished writing experts around, categorized to help you find the advice you need.

So get your list of questions together, take a deep breath, and dig in.

 

Table of Contents

         Premise

Chapter 2

Premise

 

Premise is the basic idea for your story, expanded to include your protagonist, setting, and primary conflict. Fiction writers are often encouraged to write a one-sentence encapsulation of their premise before doing anything else and then to use that premise to guide the entire writing process.

If your foundation — your premise — is shaky, the house you build — your story — will fall flat.

Obviously, premise is of paramount importance in constructing a great story, so you need to get it right. But how do you do that?

Well, a good place to start is with the advice of the experts below.

 


 

 

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theme death

Chapter 3

Theme

 

Theme is the unifying or dominant idea in a story that recurs throughout the plot and presents the author’s overall message to the reader. Examples include good v. evil, death, and man as hero.

Theme can be explicit or implicit, but without it, your story won’t really say anything to your reader. Theme ties everything together, so you have to know what you’re trying to convey and how to do it.

These experts can help you hammer out your message.

 


 

 

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Chapter 4

Plot

 

Plot is the series of events that drive your story from beginning to end, together with the structure that orders those events and helps establish relationships among them. It is the framework around which your story and characters are built.

Without a compelling plot, your story will languish and your readers will put down your book.

The resources below will help you … um … plot your course.

 


 

 

 

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story structure

Chapter 5

Story Structure

 

Story structure is the scaffolding on which you build your plot. It helps you lay out the events of your story in a way that flows well for readers and keeps your characters moving toward their destinies.

There are several standard story structures from which to choose, and there are also ways to customize structure based on the demands of your individual story.

The experts below can help you pick through the options and zero in on the structure that’s right for you.

 


 

 

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story structure

Chapter 6

Setting

 

Setting is the backdrop against which your story takes place. It can include locale, time, date, day of week, cultural climate, weather, geography, and almost any number of other factors.

Setting goes a long way toward establishing the mood and tone of your story, so you need to put some work into getting it right.

The resources below can help you, ahem, set the table.

 


 

 

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Point of View

Chapter 7

Point of View

 

Point of view is the perspective of the narrator in your book and generally takes the first-person, second-person, or third-person form.

But which one is right for your story? And can you switch points of view as your plot unfurls?

These and other questions are answered in the expert advice below.

 


 

 

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world building

Chapter 8

Worldbuilding

 

Worldbuilding is the gradual reveal of all details — or at least most of the essential ones — about the universe where your characters dwell and in which your story takes place.

That may seem to be the same as setting, but worldbuilding is much more sweeping and includes all aspects of the universe you’re creating — commerce, nations involved, interplanetary travel, modes of travel and on and on and on.

It’s a complicated concept, and you have to take care not to lose your story in the quest for building a perfect world.

The resources below can help you navigate the choppy, expansive waters.

 


 

 

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story characters

Chapter 9

Characters

 

Your characters are the lifeblood of your story. I mean, can you imagine writing anything at all without characters? Not unless you’re a bad Minecraft fanfic author — even then, you’d have to write yourself into the tale.

But you have to get them right, or your story is doomed. Flat and boring characters will doom your tale, and so will overblown, unbelievable characters.

If you’re having trouble striking the right balance and making your characters sing, the resources below can help get you back on track.

 


 

 

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Story Dialogue

Chapter 10

Dialogue

 

Dialogue is vital to the success of your story, but for most authors, it’s one of the toughest parts of writing.

The problem is, no matter how comfortable you are speaking, it feels unnatural to actually write down a conversation between people. Especially made-up conversation between fictional characters.

What often results are written discussions that feel stilted or overdone and that don’t ring true to your readers’ real-world experiences.

Part of the answer to overcoming this author’s affliction is simply to practice writing dialogue, but first, you have to know what you should be practicing.

That’s where the resources below come into play — they’ll show you the ins and outs, the wrongs and rights of crafting fictional dialogue.

Your job is to digest this advice and then put it into practice, again and again and again.

 


 

 

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Scene Building

Chapter 11

Scene Building

 

Scenes are the individual units of action that establish your characters’ relationships and move your story through the plot you have laid out.

Scenes are where you do the real work of carrying out your story after all the planning is in the books.

If you can’t write enthralling scenes that compel your reader to move to the next page, and then the next scene, your story won’t have the impact you want it to have.

Check out the resources below if you need help making your scenes more captivating.

 


 

 

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Wikipedia Conclusion

Chapter 12

Conclusion

 

Will these articles and experts guarantee that your next story is a rollicking success?

Heck no!

But the most important thing you can do to become a better author is to keep learning and then apply what you learn to your craft. There is hardly a better way to learn than by emulating people who have been where you want to go and done what you want to do.

And, when it comes to writing great stories, these resources are the cream of the crop. Eat them up, incorporate what you can into your own writing, and then get busy crafting your next story.

It just might be your best one yet!

 

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