Writing has been handed down from father to son, mother to daughter or the village elder to the junior by word of mouth long before there was ever any writing of any kind, so that essential element in writing has never gone away. In fact, I would say that the prime prerequisite is: can you tell a good story?
The first thing you have to have to be a writer is to have a story or an idea or something that you want to communicate. Ask the question would someone be interested in this or would someone want to read about this? Writing is just a form of communication.
Are you a storyteller or do you have something to write about?
Here are some little tests to find out whether or not you are.
Are you the kind of person that when you go to the camp out you can tell the story by the fire and have everyone’s attention, have them hanging on your every word?
How’s your timing?
What do people say to you after you finish telling a story?
Do people laugh at your jokes?
Your listeners and then readers will tell you whether or not you can tell a good story.
Now we all want to take a look at ourselves and not be too critical and not be too harsh at the same time, be open and honest with ourselves. Share your story with a friend who will be honest with you.
Sit down and write. Then, read what you wrote so you can get your flow with words. Be interested in everything around you, be interested in what other people have to say. Take what they say and learn what they got from your writing. Did your story idea interest them, did they have any aha moments from what you wrote? Use that information to fine tune what you are writing. Begin to develop your voice and your style as a writer.
What makes a great character? This is a very open-ended question for which there is no one answer. Your characters have to be likeable. The trait that every good character shares is that they engage the audience in the story that’s being told and by extension of that they are interesting. This is what it comes down to, can you make this character interesting.
Here is a way to create interesting characters. When it comes to creating a strong character there are three qualities that must be addressed: likability, competency, and activity.
Likability: how much will the audience like this character?
Competency: how good are they at what they do?
Activity: how much do they persevere?
Additional questions to ask.
Do they affect the plot or does the plot affect them?
Would you enjoy having a conversation with that character in real life?
Two rules you need to understand:
1) your character must be good in at least one of these areas of likeability, competency or activity.
2) they cannot be good at all 3.
The reason why is when you do that you create a flawless character they have no fundamental character flaws. The lower they rank in these factors, the more numerous and fundamental their flaws. If you have too many flaws, they may cease to be an interesting character.
One method for starting a story is to tell yourself the story while relaxing or before going to sleep. Another way is to keep a notebook with your characters and plot ideas. Write as well as you possibly can so you have enough of the idea to remember it later when you are starting to write.
Outlining your story is a good tool to use so you can see how the details will let you move smoothly through the storyline as you are writing. You have to follow the story where it leads. The last thing that you want to do is to spoil your book with plot twists that do not lead to supporting your storyline. Be more interested in your characters in the situations you are putting them in.
See what ideas you can come up with to help you have more fun writing. Keep a list of those items close so you can refer to them when you begin to write. It will help you get past the blank page frustration and begin easily.
There are no rights or wrongs so be encouraged that you can express yourself and enjoy the process. If others enjoy your writing that is a big plus for you.