How You Begin

How You Begin

A Lesson by Casey Lou

This lesson focuses on how you begin your story/novel. What characters you create, your setting, your events/plots, things like that.



Hello there!
I'll introduce myself, first. I'm Casey, I'm eighteen years old, I'm just finishing school, and I'm a childcare
worker. I love, love, love writing. Reading, too. Both have been an intense passion of mine for many years
now; I used to (well, still do) sit at my computer for hours on end every day, just writing and writing and

This course will be based on my knowledge of things, which if I do say so myself, is a pretty advanced 
knowledge of writing. I prefer writing in the genres of fantasy, romance, adventure, friendship, drama,
light comedy, basically all those things rolled into one. However, whether or not you enjoy reading or writing within these genres, you will still benefit from this course if you're inexperienced and looking to write your first novel or short story.


First off is your main idea. The way you go about this can be different depending on the way you think about things. I, for example, tend to write on the spot. Basically, I come up with an idea and immediately begin my story. The ideas pop into my head as I write, and I just continue. Some people, however, like to plan entire plots, characters and events in great detail before they begin their story; this is just as effective.

If you do prefer to plan ahead, get a notepad or open up a Word document on your computer, and start with the plot. It can be as detailed as you want it to be, but for this style of writing, it is best to be as detailed as possible. If you struggle to think up events and plots, you can 'google' ideas, or take some from your everyday life (things you see/notice as you take a walk, go to the movies, see your friends, whatever).  


Once you have your plot down (or as 'down' as it can be at this point), you can begin to create your characters and setting. 
When is your story set? (what time period)
Where is it set? In a calm, quiet village? In a bustling, busy city? It's all up to you.

Your characters are the most important part of your story. Remember that not everybody is perfect, even in reality. Your character should not be a 'Jane Doe' type (personality borders on boring due to lack of interesting traits). Create secrets, backgrounds and good AND bad qualities for your character/s.


In the next lesson, I will be elaborating more on creating/describing your characters, evolving your plots, and I'll add in more helpful pointers involving HOW you begin your story/novel, and how you continue it to the end of your first chapter. 


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Posted 5 Years Ago

"Once you have your plot down, you can begin to create your characters and setting."

Can't the characters come before the plot, or even the setting first? Can't the characters suggest the plot from who they are and how they behave?
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Added on August 13, 2012
Last Updated on August 13, 2012
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Casey Lou
Casey Lou

Sydney, Australia

23 - Australian - 90's alternative rock - camping - books - road trips - beautiful landscapes - horror films - not even scratching the surface