Month: June 2018

Starting a Story with a World

One of the ways that you can start the perfect story is by creating a world and then coming up with the characters and the story to fill it. J.K. Rowling did this to a certain degree, although she came up with Harry Potter before starting on the rest of the world creation. In order to use this world to inspire your story, you need to know how to build a world from scratch. We will look at several steps that you can use to build a world that will allow you to weave story in your fictional environment.

Determine Whether Your World is Reality-Based or Pure Fantasy

How to Start a Story — 1984

When you build a world for your story, the first thing you have to decide is whether your world is going to be based upon the real world around you or whether it is going to be something that is pure fantasy that you come up with yourself. If your world is based upon the real world, then you don’t have to do is much world building as far as the location goes, you may still have to do work for organizations or groups of people that exist within your fictional world.

Decide What Sort of People Live in This World

The people that populate your world are just as important as the direction that the sunsets or the mythical animals that exist there. In fact, the people that live in your world are going to be the best indicator for the type of world that you are creating.

Determine How the Nuances of Your World Will Affect Your Characters

Understanding how your world will affect your characters will change a great many things within your story, for example, if you are creating a world based upon reality, but in your world the government is trying to cover up aliens and will kill anyone that threatens that cover-up, your characters are going to react very differently than if they think otherwise.

Think about What Kinds of Stories Will Take Place in Your World

Building a story within your world is easier once you know what kind of stories can take place in your world. This has a little to do with the genre that you are writing in, but it has more to do with the types of stories that are suitable for the world that you’re creating. Spy novels and unicorns usually do not go hand-in-hand, but if you can make that work it might be completely awesome.

Figure Out How the Uniqueness of Your World Will Affect Those Stories

If you know what kinds of stories you are going to tell then think about how a unique world that you create is going to affect the stories that you come up with. This will allow you to start thinking of story ideas which is exactly what starting with world creation is supposed to do. A good world can inspire a terrific story if you let it.

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How Long Should the Chapters in My Novel Be?

If there’s one thing that new writers often get wrong, it’s word counts. They are so caught up in writing the stories that they are telling that they tend to overlook the importance of length.

However, length is one of the most important elements of a novel. In fact, most literary agents and publishers say that it is one of the most important elements. Of course, you want to have amazing characters, a compelling and unforgettable plot line, and an incredible title; however, even if you have all of these elements, if you miss the mark on length, there’s a very good chance that your book isn’t going to be as successful as you hope.

Why? – Because length plays a big part in holding the attention of the audience. If it’s too long, your readers are really going to have a tough time getting through to the end (in fact, they may not pick it up at all!); if it’s too short, your readers will be left scratching their heads and feel like your book didn’t meet their expectations.

To avoid making your novel flop, it’s really important to pay close attention to your word counts. The total word count will depend on the type of book you are writing. For example, a safe range for young adult novels is anywhere between 55,000 and 80,000 words, while adult fiction books can be as long as 100,000 words.

The audience you are trying to appeal to plays a big part in how long your book should be in terms of word count. As a general rule of thumb, the younger your audience is, the shorter your word count should be.

With that said, word count for the entire book isn’t the only thing you should be focusing on; you should also pay attention to the amount of words each chapter contains. But how can you do that?

Well, the truth is, there’s no tried and true length for your chapters. It really depends on your specific topic. Some chapters may be long, while others may be short; and still, some novels may feature chapters that have the same word length throughout.

But What About Length?

If the above explanation doesn’t answer your question and you’re really looking for solid numbers to follow in regard to chapter length, here’s what literary agents and publishers recommend:

If you’re book is about 80,000 words, try to aim for chapters that are around 2,000 words each. That’s just the right amount to read and digest in a single sitting. Many people read a chapter in one sitting, and 2,000 words seems to be the magic number for a single sitting. If your chapters are significantly longer, your readers may end up skimming through the pages to get to the end of the chapter, which means that they won’t really digest what you’ve written. If you’re planning on having imbalanced chapters, a good suggestion is to feature a shorter chapter and follow it with one that is longer. For instance, maybe one chapter is 700 words and the next is 1,300. Your readers will breeze through the shorter chapter and still be able to finish the longer one without it feeling too cumbersome.