When I started writing, I had one major problem- plenty of ideas, with no idea how to turn them into a story!
Does that sound familiar?
All of my ideas were "what ifs?" I would come up with the premise of a story but have no idea how to write it. And, when I tried "pantsing," I would quickly run out of steam. My super interesting "what if" premise would fizzle in a few hundred words. I would close my laptop, feeling dejected, and never return to my idea again.
My "what if" ideas weren't bad, and they weren't the problem. I lacked direction and no way of knowing how to get from a story's beginning to its climax.
Almost every story we read or watch comes from a "what if" statement. Here are three examples of some three successful "what if" ideas:
What if a Kansas girl was sucked up by a tornado and dropped into a magical land of witches?
What if a farm boy met an old mystic in the desert and set off on a journey to save a princess?
What if a special agent was framed as a mole and went on a rogue mission to clear his name?
These are all great ideas and hugely successful stories. Entire film franchises, worth billions of dollars, were built from two of these ideas- Star Wars and Mission Impossible. The other idea became a Hollywood classic called The Wizard of Oz.
Maybe you have your own "what if" idea for a story. Maybe your "what if" story premise is worth millions of dollars, but it's sitting, unfinished, and buried in your computer's hard drive.
If you have a "what if" and no idea how to finish it, then I have fantastic news for you...
THERE IS A SOLUTION!
The way to get from your "what if" idea to an actual narrative is with a story structure. And, would you believe that all three examples above: Star Wars, Mission Impossible, and The Wizard of Oz, used the same structure?
The Hero's Journey.
Almost every Hollywood screenplay uses the Hero's Journey.
The Story Writing Workbook is a 123-page writing handbook that will take you through each of the 12 stages of the hero's journey. Each chapter covers a single phase of the hero's journey, exploring the step in-depth and providing mentor text examples. Also included are specific goals for your writing.
With help from guiding questions, writing exercises, and 12 stage outlines, you will turn your "what if" idea into the outline for a fully formed and marketable story.
When you complete this workbook, you will have:
A protagonist with an engaging character arc.
A cast of villains and ally characters to challenge or help your hero on their journey
An outlined story with a completed beginning, middle, and end.
The Story Writing Workbook includes:
132 questions that will guide you through creating believable characters and an engaging plot
17 writing exercises designed to develop specific story beats such as your inciting incident or your hero's ordeal.
12 graphic organizers to outline each stage of your story and determine the scenes within.
Right now, I include three bonus materials to help you craft your story. They include:
A scene template graphic organizer to help you write each scene in your narrative.
A character builder graphic organizer to guide your thinking as you develop fully formed allies and antagonist characters.
A Character skill tree/ skill builder to create unique characters with different skills and roles within your tale.
Today is the day to brush off that "what if" story idea, dig it out of your hard drive, and start writing an actual story!