By: Darcy Tellier
Before we start, lets set the mood with a little music.
Alright! Let’s get started.
10 steps to creating your very own literary masterpiece.
#10 Comedy or tragedy
You will first need to decide if your story is going to be a comedy or a tragedy. A comedy begins with the hero starting out in a terrible position and ending up in a better place than where he has started. Comedies can be broken up into three separate categories called divine comedies. These three types of divine comedies are known as the Inferno, Purgatorio, and the Paradiso. Divine Comedies are used to describe the type of world the hero journeys through. The Inferno is a hellish world, as Purgatorio is a purgatorial world, and finally, Paradiso is a heavenly type of world that is sometimes filled with gods, angels, and buildings made of gold.
A tragedy is usually the complete opposite of a divine comedy. The hero starts in a great position and ends up losing everything until he ends up in a position way worst then he has started.
#9 selecting a theme
Selecting a theme is very useful to give your story structure. It is essentially the overall idea that you as the writer want to convey to your audience. Themes could be anything from a tale about growing up, dealing with tyranny, or a grand search for a lost love. If you have trouble figuring out a good theme, you could always use theme generator for some help. http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=quicktheme
If you cannot find a good theme, be sure to keep refreshing the page. Eventually, a theme will stand out, and when it does, it should cause your writer’s ideas to burst and flow freely.
#8 Creating 3-dimensional characters
Creating 3-dimensional characters is probably the most important step in this list. Your characters are the story. Without properly writing solid 3-dimensional and 2-dimensional characters your story will fall apart. Good stories are not always about the adventure it is about the characters. With these characters, you can send them epic adventures and get them in sorts of situation that will test them. If you want to create great 3-dimensional, all you need to do is go to the following link, print the page, and fill all the questions that apply.
If you find something in the list that does not apply to your character, just leave it blank. Once you have created a character sheet for your main hero, and for any other characters you choose to become 3– dimensional, be sure to store these character sheets in a safe place because these pages now represent your character’s souls. These pages will not only help you keep track of all your characters goals, dreams, fears, and morality. It will also help keep tabs on each of your character’s personality. If a character you create is known to have a fear of water, you can eliminate several continuity errors in your story just by having it written on your character sheets.
Always have character flaws. Character flaws are a powerful tool. I strongly feel that every character should have at least one flaw. It is not only for creating intense comedic situations, but it humanizes your characters in such a way that your readers could easily relate. It is a great way to build a strong bond between your characters and your readers. Imagine your readers having strong attachments to your characters. Do you want to know what you call readers who have strong attachments to your characters? Fandom! This fandom creates a phenomenon where your readers have nothing better to do than to dress up as your characters and parade at many conventions all around the globe. I have never had the privilege to experience this, but I heard it is a cool feeling!
#7 Creating the universe, lore, and mysteries
The world you create defines cities, deserts, forests, swamps, mountains, oceans and ruins of the world. The lore tells the story of how it came to be, legends, prophecy, brave deeds from ancient hero’s, treasures, and deadly beast that guarded them. Lore helps give your world depth and it also helps creates mysteries for your characters to explore.
#6 Create the hero’s journey
What I am about to tell you will ruin the magic of movies forever. To be honest, I feel just like Morpheus from the Matrix, When he is offering Neo the option of either taking the blue or red pill. If you rather not have the joy of watching movies ripped away from you. You may choose to take the blue pill and leave this page and forget everything thing that you have ever read up to this point in this article, or you could take the red pill and continue.
In the hero’s journey, this would be the call to adventure/ the refusal, and crossing the threshold all in couple lines. The truth is every great movie and piece of great literature is the same old story repeated over and over.
Here is the short version of the hero’s journey if you want to get the full scoop, you can read it in full detail here, http://www.thewritersjourney.com/hero’s_journey.htm
Just to save some of your valuable time, I decided to create a shortened version of the hero’s journey.
The Ordinary world– It is the place where the hero comes from; he is usually bored or dissatisfied with his life. Maybe there is something more out there, then running the family Inn.
The call/the refusal– For some reason, the hero is summoned to go on a grand quest, most of the time it is usually a wizard or a king that calls the hero to do his job. Sometimes the hero refuses the call because he doesn’t believe he is the chosen one or he has younger siblings that depend on him or whatever excuse our hero can come up with, but he is always somehow gets forced into accepting his calling.
Meeting the mentor– Our hero meets the wise old man that guides our hero on the right path and teaches our him a secret art or gives our hero some item that will help them on their journey.
Crossing the threshold– Our hero enters the new world. Usually, this is where we would end the first act.
Testing/ allies/ enemies– In act two our hero will meet all of his cool allies, such as the womanizing merchant, the wise gambler, and the lovely dessert summoner Elisabeth that can spawn pies, cakes, and ice cream from her hands at will. At the same time, we will get to meet if not all but most of the stories villains. Where talking about the hot-tempered General Tao, The unforgiving emperor Megadeth, and the ultra evil warlock overlord, Lord Pepsi. About this time our hero will face his very first major trial.
The approach– Our hero and his new found friends have a training montage, packs up all their essentials and set out to face the biggest challenge of all. To defeat Lord Pepsi and all of his minions, and free the new world from his tyranny.
The Ordeal- This is usually the hero’s darkest hour. Things are looking grim for the Hero as he and all his allies are on the brink of death. There is no hope of winning, and our Hero has accepted his certain death, but the old man speaks to our hero through some magic and reminds him to use the secret technique. He uses the technique with all his might and brakes free. He is now resurrected and is a new man. He then uses his newly acquired power to defeat Lord Pepsi once and for all.
The reward- After defeating Lord Pepsi, our hero gets to shower in victory and claim all of his rewards. He gets fortune, fame, the head of Lord Pepsi, and all the women and mead that awaits him when he returns to the tavern.
The return home– After a long night of partying our hero is hungover and ready to pack up all his stuff and returns home leaving the new world back to the old one.
The Resurrection– Our hero is a brand new man, he is confident. He is not the little kid he was a couple of days before. He is lightly tested one more time for good measure but easily overcomes this challenge.
Return with the Elixir– The hero has returned to his hometown and luckily for him he has brought home a portion from the new world that can cure the hero’s sick mother.
The order usually goes like this, but the journey can be switched around in almost any order. Some of the steps in the hero’s journey can be skipped if you choose to do so. The hero’s journey is more of a tool to help guide you in your quest to write a very powerful story.
#5 Give your story a twist
There is a really good reason why Hollywood ran out of original movie ideas a very long time ago; this is because in the end there is only truly 11 different types of plot twist that can be done. Trust me these 11 plot twists will cover everything that you can ever dream of.
Anagnorisis: The discovery of characters true identity.
Flashback: The author reveals information of the past.
Unreliable Narrator: The narrator was lying to us this whole time.
Peripeteia: The reversal of the Hero’s Fortune.
Deus ex machina: It translates “God out of the machine.” The hero was about to die, but he was saved by divine intervention.
Poetic justice: Usually some punishment that is ironic in nature. A woodworker who gets nailed to a wooden cross.
Chekhov’s Gun: A background character that has no importance that suddenly becomes very important.
Red herring: clues left behind that are designed to mislead not only our hero but also the reader.
In medias res: Everything starts in the middle of our story, and everything is explained with several flashbacks. A great example is the movie “Dude, where’s my car?” Our hero wakes up from an epic night of partying only to go on a search to find their car.
Non-linear narrative: It’s a story that has no chronological order. It is usually several stories of several characters put together, and it is up to the audience to piece together the mystery. A great example of the non-linear narrative would be Quentin Tarantino masterpiece “Pulp Fiction.”
Reverse chronology: Start it all at the end of the story and work your way backward.
Once you have chosen one or two twists, then you are ready to start planning.
#4 Separate everything into Acts and Chapters
Now it is time to plan out your story. The first step is that you may want to decide how big of a story do you want to write. A good rule of thumb would be to create three acts with three chapters per act. This preference is completely up to you. It’s your book you get to set whatever rule you truly desire. If you wanted 13 acts with 20 chapters per act, then it is completely up to you.
Once you have decided, the next step is to write a short blurb of what you want to happen in each chapter.
Here is a short example:
Prolog: Talk about some lore.
Chapter1: introduce the hero,
Chapter2: Our hero runs the Kavel inn, with both his younger sisters.
Chapter3: An old man tells the hero that his parents (world renown adventures) have gone missing. The parents had left to find a cure for the hero’s sick sister. A search party is being put together to find the hero’s parents.
Chapter 1: the inn burns down
Chapter 2: the hero leaves on his adventure and finds friends along the way.
Once you are done writing a short blurb of all of your chapters you now have your very own story template. Just remember nothing set in stone. If you ever wanted to change your story, you can simply edit your story template. Easy as pie!
#3 Fill in the gaps
Now that you have a template of your entire story it Is time to fill in the gap. If you ever run into writer’s block, I would recommend using this awesome website, called chaotic shiny. http://www.chaoticshiny.com/index.php
I use Chaotic shiny whenever I get stuck. My favorite generator to use from chaotic are the law generator. Whenever I create a town or city in my stories, I always love to throw in some town rules.
I always get a kick when my characters end up in the stockade or, in some very serious legal trouble. Another tool I love to use in my writing is a d-20 twenty sided dice. Whenever any character tries to do any action, I would roll my d-20 and use the result to decide if the action was successful.
20- The action was critically successful.
15-19 –the action was a success
11-15- the action succeeded but with great difficulty
6-10- the action failed but with no repercussions
2-5- the action failed with some repercussions
1 – The action critically failed with severe repercussions
This is a little trick that I have picked up over the years from playing dungeons and dragons.
#2 Fear nothing
Unlike every other form of media, books for some reason have the ability to escape the clutches of censorship. Unless you are writing for children, feel free to unleash your deepest darkest thoughts and desires. Never let fear or social shame get in the way from writing your very own vision. If you are writing and you are debating about writing a scene where the hero decides to spy on a group of women bathing together and groping each other. Commit to it! It is worth it. It is not only juicy, but it is awesome. If you want to throw in something taboo in your story, don’t let anyone stop you either. The truth is that everyone secretly loves them. The ones who claim to hate them the most and try to censor it is usually the ones who are truly obsessed with them the most. So if you want to write about a situation, where your hero ends up in a German sex dungeon, being tortured by their sexy first blood cousin dressed up as the hamburglar, nobody has the dam right to stop you. The real world has rules that you are forced to obey, but in books, you are free to express yourself whichever way you desire. If you write something that is very edgy and you do not want your mother to read, just do what a lot of writers including myself do; use a fake name when you publish stuff. Remember there are a lot of martyr’s in history that have sacrificed themselves to the gallows, just so you as a writer could have the freedom to write all the dirty filth and disgusting books that your dirty heart desires.
#1 Hire someone to edit your story
Most people believe to truly become a great writer you need to have crazy grammar skills and an expert in sentence structures. To be honest you don’t even need to learn any of this stuff. This fact has turned me away from living my dreams of being a writer for several years. One day I discovered that you could actually pay real money and hire people to edit your work! You could even do favors for people in exchange to edit your work.
If you decided to get into writing proffessionalIy, I would recommend subscribing to Grammarly. It does the job a million times better than Microsoft spellcheck. When you have finished editing your story make sure you always get a second fresh pair of eyes if possible to do read your work before you publish your work. If it is not possible to get someone to proofread your work, give yourself at least a day to forget what you wrote, then try reading it outloud to yourself.
Once you have everything edited, re-read your hard work front to back. If you are satisfied with your story, be sure to create several backups of your hard work. Then go forth and publish! Kindle is an excellent and free option to publish your book, but you could still go the route of getting it printed through a publisher.
Bonus advice: Here is a cool quirk that I came up with that I believe would make a book more fun. If you are feeling adventurous, try adding QR codes inside your book that could play atmospheric/ ambient music such as the one I got you to play at the beginning of this article. With these QR code the possibility is endless. You could add character images, action cutscenes, voice acting, complete side quest, dream sequences, minigames, and even add an extra layer of interactivity.
Estellise has left Timothy alone in her room as she leaves quickly to answer the phone. Timothy is debating if he should take the opportunity to find out what Estell was truly hiding in her bedside drawer.
Timothy: I wonder if I should take a look inside?
How did you like that interactivity?
These QR codes are very easy to put together, and all that I needed set everything up was a QR code generator and a WordPress account. Which I happily placed a link below.
I hope that this article has gotten your creative juices flowing, and if you manage to have written a story with QR codes, please let me know! I would love to see what kind of fun and crazy contraption you can come up with.
Until Next Time
Theme Generator: http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=quicktheme
Name Generator: http://fantasynamegenerators.com/
The Ultimate Generator: http://www.chaoticshiny.com/index.php
Spell checker: https://www.grammarly.com
QR code generator-http://www.qr-code-generator.com/
Divine comedy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_Comedy
The hero’s journey: http://www.thewritersjourney.com/hero’s_journey.htm
Plot Twist: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plot_twist
Music: Chopin – Nocturne op.9 No.2
Monty Python clip- https://youtu.be/LJfowXTXOfU?t=2m39s