1. What does your character need or want? Why does he or she need or want it?
2. What is the conflict? What prevents your character from getting what they need or want?
3. What about your character’s personality is going to make it difficult to get what he they need or want?
4. How will your character grow? What will they learn as a result of this journey? Once your character learns this, will they be able to get what they want?
5. What point of view will best serve the story and why?
6. What tense makes the most sense for your story?
7. Don’t take the word “beginning” too literally. Begin in the middle of things.
8. Avoid lengthy explanations as to how your character got to this point in their life. Yes, your characters have a past, but that past will become evident through dialogue, action and the choices the characters make, not necessarily through lengthy explanation.
9. You need to hook the reader’s attention from the very beginning.
10. Have fun! It’s okay not to know everything about your novel before you begin it. Chances are you’ll discover plenty along the way. Remember the old adage: “the art of writing is rewriting”.
Laurie Faria Stolarz’s author website: www.lauriestolarz.com
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