The Story Idea, Part 2: Putting Flesh on The Bones

The first Story Idea article had a nice response so here we go with the next step in the process. This is how I do it so you’re under no obligation to follow it. It’s simply what works for me.

You have your original amazing, super-fantastic, going to blow the doors off the Industry, Idea, but it’s not a story yet. Fair enough, all stories start out as ideas.

So, what now?

We’re discussing World-Building now. After all, you have to build the house before you can live in it and it is no different with stories. I’ll incorporate Characters into this equation later so for now, let’s focus on the Story World. How do we begin?

Here are a few helpful suggestions to get you started. These can be used in no particular order so go nuts:

1. Ask yourself what kind of world is the Story set in. Earth, Venus, The Milky Way, Somewhere over the Rainbow? (hey, it can happen…hehe) The point is that you have to start developing a framework in which to populate your characters. A good way to do this is to ask yourself some basic questions: Where do the characters live? Where do they work? Where do they play? As you can see, there are a LOT of potential questions that you can ask yourself and they are ALL valid. It may not seem so at first but for every question you answer, you reduce or eliminate future problems that can lead to Writer’s Block.

2. Write down descriptions of the distinctive sights, sounds, smells, whatever, of the world you are building. They are important because they act as guideposts for the reader to navigate by.

3. Time. The time period that the story is set in has a huge influence on the Story’s Plot. A Story set at the Dawn of the Industrial Revolution will use different elements than one set in the distant future unless of course you do one of those Apocalyptic type of stories where everything gone to Hades and is broken, mangled, burnt and getting ready to take that final plunge down the proverbial tubes. Note: If you do spring an Apocalypse, consider putting it at the end of the Story. Blow up the World, not much after that unless you have a couple of astronaut apes using time travel…hehe.

4. Consider carefully the Genre you will be writing in. I know I’ve said in the Past that Genre is most important when marketing your Story/Book, but in the initial stages, it’s important because it helps when selecting the construction materials your world is built with. Science Fiction would use things like plastic, sheet metal, rivets or welding, while Fantasy would be more like thatched huts, wood screws and lots of rope.

5. Develop a feel for how the Society operates in this world. Is it a dictatorship? Communist Fantasy? Democracy? Don’t obsess about Politics, just get an idea for yourself how things are run. Even an Anarchy or Feudal System can work. Remember, it’s YOUR story.

These are merely suggestions based on opinion and we all know that wonderful saying about opinions…hehe. The only rule that I want to stress here is HAVE FUN WITH IT. When we enjoy something, we tend to put our best effort into it. Writing is no different.

Now get Writing. 😉


7 thoughts on “The Story Idea, Part 2: Putting Flesh on The Bones

  1. I sometimes struggle with the world building part. Characters and dialogue comes naturally to me, but painting a vivid description of a location is something I am trying to improve on. Great post 🙂

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  2. Pingback: He Was Father’s Good Friend…a short story for you. | a cooking pot and twistedtales

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