Aug 15

How to Write a Story

this is a draft. help would be appreciated - sources to use, general tips for my writing.
this is a speech i need to do for AP Language and Composition.
                                                                                                
    How to Write a Story
 
    The inspiration to write can come from anywhere. The genres to write in are endless. You can write about a bug on the ground, a dragon only you can see, a land no one will ever visit. No one can criticize a world you made. You’re free to lock yourself in your room with nothing but a pencil and paper and write what could become the next Harry Potter or Hunger Games. Whether you start writing after taking a Creative Writing course or when you hit your eighth birthday, it doesn’t matter. The youngest published author is four years old. Right now, she’s sixty years old. Her book, How the World Began, describes its title - how she believes the world started.

    You don’t need to start with an idea like that to write a story. You can, of course, but there’s always more you can explore. You can write about anything, anything at all.

    Let’s start with the basics, if you’re going to write a narrative. What do you start with first? Characters? Settings? Plot?  What if you can’t think of anything but a first line?

    That happened with me, too.

    A lot of my own stories started with simple lines. The Wildlands branched off the line “it was a harsh winter”. I spawned settings, characters, and an entire plot based off the paragraphs a wrote.

    Sometimes it’s not so easy to start with just a line. Sometimes it’s more fun to describe a character. Talking about their flowing hair that they cut short to go on a mission of redemption can open up a backstory. Or, you can talk about settings right off the bat.

    First, let’s talk about characters. In a narrative, characters are the driving force of everything. Start with a character that you’ve always wanted to be. Put all your dreams and aspirations into the character, let them bloom.

    After you’ve done that, most of the work for the plot is finished. You need an antagonist, though.

    The antagonist needs a motive. Your main character has one already, but what motivates your antagonist? What makes them evil? The Seven Deadly Sins is a good start for villainous motivations.

    What about sidekicks or other characters? Your main character can be a loner, sure, but a story isn’t interesting with only a brooding character. Having two main characters can get complicated, especially if there are more than three.

    How about settings? Where does your story take place? Why there? Is it a real or fictional place? Does your story end in a castle duel between your characters, or on a rocky cliff where one falls to their death? The choice is yours.

    Once you’ve got your settings and characters down, as well as a bit of backstory for each character, next comes the plot. What happens to make your antagonist so evil, why do they clash with your main character or sidekick? How did the main character find out where the antagonist is and how did they get there?

Plots can often get confusing. That’s okay, as long as the ending is definitive and ties up all loose ends (unless another novel is planned).

    There are a million questions for each decision you make. That’s one of the keys to writing a story. Question what you do, why you do it. Or why something happens in the story.

    There’s also the advice that you should write everything you can in one sitting, even if it turns out terrible. No editing, no stopping. Just writing for as long as you can. To do this, you don’t need to outline anything. Simply writing could be enough to spark a new story.