I entered a Writing Contest a few days ago. The topic of the writing piece is “First Meetings”, and the story must be under 1500 words in length. The main reason for me to enter this contest is because ALL the writers who submit their stories will be published! If I am able to do this, then I will have have a first published piece!
Now of course, I have started writing. And it is so much harder than I thought! Since the topic of the writing piece is “First Meetings”, I toyed with the idea of how I met my fiancé. But it’s not working. Something’s missing.
Last night, I was on twitter and came across “A Step-by-Step Guide To Build Your Story’s Plot” written by Patrick Moreau. It felt as if a ray of light suddenly broke through the clouds after I read this article!
Summary: how to build a strong story plot
In order to tell a great story, you need a strong CORE QUESTION. The core question has three parts: “ask”, “acceptance” and “answer”. The “ask”, or the question itself, comes from the conflict/challenge. The “acceptance” is where the character accepts the challenge. And the “answer” is the resolution. Your next step is to create a plot to bring the audience through the three parts. So that you can plant the question into their minds, and then bring them along to find out the answer at the end. In order to keep their attention, you need to keep the three parts to a 25:50:25 ratio. In addition, Patrick listed 6 universal conflicts to help you create strong characters. For the list of the conflicts, you can refer to #5 in his article.
That explains the reason why my initial idea about meeting my fiancé does not work, because there isn’t a conflict/challenge within the story. So I need to scrap this idea and try again. If you’re having difficulty writing a story like me, I highly recommend reading through this article!