- How old are your characters when the story begins?
- Where are the characters in the story?
- Why does the story start?
- What are your main characters’ story goals? [Read The Story Goal]
- Who are their co-stars?
- How old are your characters when the story ends?
- Where will it end?
We should never start our novel on the day our characters take their first breaths – unless that moment is important to the story. We are not writing our characters’ biographies. Try not to bore the reader with a factual re-telling of their first years.A timeline can help us remove unnecessary backstory. We get to see how much information we tend to dump in the beginning of a book. It can be used as a tool to help us work through where we should start our stories. We can use this part of our timeline to help fill in a character questionnaire.Start at a point of crisis or change. The reader will immediately want to know what happened before and after that point. Start when the reason for writing the story begins. [Read The Importance of Inciting Moments]Carry on by inserting the events needed to get us through the middle of the story to the end. We tell a story in (action) scenes and (reaction) sequels. We usually have 60-80 of these in a novel. You can use these to create the events on your timeline. [Read Why Writers Should Always Make a Scene]Stop when the main character reaches his or her story goal. [Read The Sense Of An Ending]
- Create a timeline for your story.
- Make sure they all work together.
If you enjoyed this article, read:
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