How to Write a Good Story
Evil Overlady

Artists find ways of expressing their feelings through paintings, sculpture or music. But what about those of us who can't draw, can't mold clay, and can't carry a tune in a bucket? Well, there's another way to tell people what you think. We call this art form "writing."

Writing is the cheapest way to conquer your world. You can gain instant superpowers, make your worst enemies kneel before you. Heck! You can get all the gorgeous chicks - or guys - that anyone could possibly want.

Just master the three basic elements of storywriting, and the universe will be yours. Carried out correctly, they'll create a formula for artistic and possibly financial success. The story must begin with an intriguing introduction, rise to a provocative climax, and end with a startling conclusion.

The best way to begin a story is with a "hook." You need to be able to snatch the reader's attention. Wiggle a little bait in front of his or her nose - like an action scene. Get the person's heart racing and have him or her asking, "What's going to happen next?" Have the hero make a narrow escape, or... Give the reader a mystery to chew on. "Who is that man, woman, thing? What does it want?" The hero must find out!

Then, after you've hooked the reader, you need to start reeling him or her in. Give a bit of background information. Tell a little about the hero's likes and dislikes without saying out loud, "He likes adventures! He hates eggs!" Instead, try something like: "Ah! Another daring adventure for me to go on! I hope those villagers don't give me any more chicken eggs." Once you've established the hero, you need to introduce the problem. This is where the rising action comes into play, which in turn leads to the climax.

The second main element of a good story is the climax. You have to have a good climax if you are to satisfy your reader. The hero narrowly missed the villain before, but this time he'll not be so lucky! The villain has trapped him in a corner. His friends are far from reach. It's up to him now! The villain has the spotlight. It looks like our hero's luck has just run out. Then, when the reader least expects it, drop in a "life preserver," the hidden dagger or the villain says the wrong words. "Ha! I trapped your friend in the dungeon along with the Enchanted Key!" At the same time, a familiar piece of metal slips into the hero's hands. "You mean this key?" An incredible fight scene takes place, and the villain is thwarted.

Lastly, we need a conclusion. The last thing you want to do is leave the reader hanging. That might force him or her to go out and make their own ending. Then it might end up on the Internet someplace, and it'd be a horrible mess. Yes, the villain has been defeated. The hero can go back to his usual boring life. But you can't end the story there! Let the reader relax. The conflict's over. The bad guy's gone. Then have someone fall across his path with a dagger in his back. The hero stops, looks at his friend calmly, and sighs, "Here we go again." There. You're finished at last... with a conclusion that leaves your story open for sequels.

So, if you create a story, do it in three steps. Begin with a mind-boggling introduction, lead to an edge-of-your-seat climax, and end with a breathtaking conclusion. It's the only way to conquer the world while spending just enough money to cover paper and pencil. Just think. You can be the super-villain, and the good guy doesn't have to win, or you can be the hero and save your favorite Hollywood star from the clutches of the most ruthless villain in the universe! You decide.