Several year ago, my husband and I began building our dream home. Unlike most home builders, we had not only NEVER built a house before, but we had also decided we were going to build it ourselves without going into debt--no matter how long it took. So, with stars in our eyes, blueprints in our pockets, and an old backhoe under our--well, you know--we began to dig the footings.
It's the same with most new-to-the-craft writers. We get a fantastic story idea that sets our hearts pounding and our imaginations soaring. "This will be so good," we tell ourselves. "No one has ever done anything like this before. I might even change the world."
But, unlike our family's house-building adventure, many writers stop right there--at the dream. Why? Because they don't know where to start; they failed to create a blueprint.
How do you create one, you ask? The formula is simple: Character + Conflict (story problem) = Story. In other words, you must formulate a plan; i.e., so-and-so (your main character) wants this or that or another so-and-so (the problem) and overcomes obstacles, each harder than the next (the story), until she either reaches her goal or discovers she wants, has earned., and ultimately chooses something much more worthy of her efforts. That's it.
There are, of course, many other blocks necessary to creating the perfect story, but the blueprint is the first one. And now that you know that much, your adventure begins.
Coming soon: Block Number Two: Character