How To Write A Story
Disclaimer: I just started writing a few days ago. I am not claiming that I'm a good writer, and I'm not claiming that I'm not. These are just instructions for anyone who can't write any kind of story at all. Along with some observations I've made along the way. I will be using "Twilight" examples, because that's the first thing that came to mind. You do not need to know what "Twilight" is. "Twilight" belongs to Stephanie Meyer, but everything else belongs to me, unless otherwise specified.
Rules and Steps:
1) Don't write something interesting. Start writing something very boring, like "Bella walked across the room." If you write something that you really, really, really want to write, you'll rush. And when you rush, you get several disconnected sentences detailing whatever parts of your future story you think are interesting. And then you get confused. For example:
Example 1. "Bella wakes up, she kisses Edward and Edward kisses her back. Alice comes in and interrupts them. Then Edward gets off of Bella and he and Alice have a fight, but she has a vision and Renesmee is in trouble. She is being eaten by Jacob. Bella and Edward rush to the rescue of their daughter but they're too late, so Edward kills Jacob and sucks his blood, and Bella makes out with him, and then they all live happily ever after."
Now the story is over. But if you look at what I've written above, it's not much of a story. And not just because the plot was so bizarre. There are no descriptions, no thoughts or feelings of the characters. You don't know who they are or why they did what they did, the sentences pretty much describe only what they did. Not even when.
This is a dead end. The reason this is a dead end is that you, the author, already know the ending. There is no reason to keep writing. You see, writing is surprisingly similar to reading. (Which makes sense, since when you write, you're reading at the same time.) If you read the end of a book before the middle, you're not going to read the middle to find out what the ending is. But Example 1 can have it's uses. It's a plot, and that's very important. It's relatively easy to come up with one, but then you don't know what to do with it. Or you could start writing, realizing that you don't have a plot.
2) No, you're not going to add times and dates and motivations to the plot. You can't fill in a story like a coloring book. (Maybe you can, but I haven't done it. Yet.) Although, you are going to list any and all miscellaneous details that you might forget. Don't number them. Like,
Example 2. "The first thing Bella notices when she rushes into the room Renesmee's in is her pacifier lying bloody on the ground.
Alice sneezes when she gets her vision Edward kills Jacob with a vacuum cleaner"
But, but, and this is important, you have to write them down separately. Miscellaneous items are not plot events. Don't burden the plot with details. Think of the plot as homework. Each sentence is a piece of homework. You don't want more homework, do you? When you finally do write, you want to describe "Bella walks across the room." Not "Bella walks across the room in sparkly shoes that sparkled like Edward and that's the reason that she loves them so much." See how Bella walking and her loving Edward have nothing to do with each other? Moving on.
3) Now, read what happens. the whole plot. Check for inconsistencies. Did Edward suck Jacob's blood twice? Think. Do you want Edward to suck his blood, go kiss Bella, and then return for seconds? Can you rationalize that in your story? Or do you want to eliminate one suckage? But, if you get rid of that one, then something else might not make sense. Et cetera. The goal is to eliminate all inconsistencies, i.e. plot holes. (See, you're using fancy writing terms already!) This step is more mathematical and logical than the writing part, so I don't think you'll encounter many problems. If worst comes to worst and you can't write your major brilliant idea without having a few plot holes, label your story a crackfic, or a sillyfic. At least write a disclaimer. Then no one will complain.
4) Make a timeline in your mind. When do these things happen? You need to know this in order to know what to write first. When does Jacob start eating Renesmee? She's very small, so logically, it needs to start after Alice interrupts Edward and Bella. Otherwise Jacob will be pooping her out by the time Alice gets the vision. You could even draw a diagram of the timeline, but I think it helps if you keep it in your head. (Although for larger, more complex stories, time lines are very useful.)
Example 3. "Bella wakes up, she kisses Edward and Edward kisses her back. Edward gets on Bella. Alice comes in and interrupts them. Meanwhile, Jacob is eating Renesmee. Then Edward gets off of Bella and he and Alice have a fight, but she has a vision and Renesmee is in trouble. She is being eaten by Jacob which started when Alice came into B/E's room. Bella and Edward rush to the rescue of their daughter while Jacob is swallowing her legs, but they're too late, so Edward kills Jacob and sucks his blood, and Bella makes out with him, and then they all live sadly after, because they're sad that Renesmee is dead."
5) Look at what happens first in the plot. (Ex.3) That might or might not be the first sentence. In this case it is. Decide what tense you want it to be in, and what person. I.e. "I am walking", "she walked", "or you will be walking" Let's go with third person, past tense. It's easier for stories. (Not really for poems or other things, like this How To guide.)
The first thing that happens is that Bella kisses Edward. Where is Bella? We know that Alice "Comes in," so she has to be in a room. Let's say it's her room, because it really doesn't matter. "What is Edward doing in her room?" You might ask. Well, he comes to her room every night. It's in the books, you might say. But Edward doesn't know about the books, Edward comes to Bella's room because he really loves her and wants to be with her. Why does he want to be with her? Because he can't read her mind, and he wants to drink her blood. Why does he like that? Because he finds it mysterious, and he can't resist.
Now on to Bella. Why is she in her room at nine o'clock? Because that's where people are at nine. Why is she not out with her friends? Because she wants to meet Edward in her room at nine o'clock. So this is planned? No, but she knows he will come, she has faith in him. So what if he doesn't come? She will kill herself.
Okay, we're ready.