Exercises To Help You Develop Your Story

By on December 11, 2019

Sometimes you have an initially fantastic idea for a new story, but when it comes to mapping out the details and developing the plot, you suddenly find that you can’t quite work out what will happen.

Rather than giving up on your idea, it might just be that you need to get those creative cogs turning once more, and need to loosen up your imagination with some helpful exercises to see if you can’t work out where your story needs to go.

Developing your book idea can be tricky, but it is so vital to ensure that you don’t end up getting halfway through and realizing that it doesn’t have legs. So here are some helpful exercises that you can try before you start writing to help make sure that your great idea is really going somewhere. 

Try to create a longline for your story

It might seem counterintuitive to ask you to write fewer words when you are trying to expand on your idea. However, by forcing yourself to sum up the central ideas and themes of your story in a line or two, you’ll naturally have to think about them, helping you to focus on the essential details and explore your ideal further.

Ask yourself the 5 W’s

Who, what, where, why, and when are important questions that you should be able to answer before you sit down to write. By asking yourself these questions, you’ll end up exploring all the critical aspects such as characters, location, journey, timelines, and so on. 

Create an imaginative mind map

A mind map is ideal for more visual learners who like to be able to see what’s going on and move things around. A mind map allows you to be super creative and to get all your ideas out of your head and on paper, create connections and start to build your story to see where it might lead.

Get to know your characters

Before you start writing, you should try to get to know your characters as well as possible. You can create a list of questions to ask them; you can start keeping journals as them. The more in-depth your knowledge of your characters becomes, the easier it will be to create unique and distinctive voices that your reader can resonate with.

Create a buyer persona

Developing your story is also about considering your reader. Why not create an ideal buyer persona to help you think about who your reader might be, what they want, and why they should choose your book. 

Develop your timeline

Creating a timeline for your book is another fantastic way to help build upon your initial idea. It will also help you to consider how events will unfold throughout your writing and can help ensure you don’t make huge inconsistencies or get muddled later down the line too. 

By following the above processes, you can make sure that you feel confident that you have a full, workable story idea before you start writing it. This can give you the confidence and motivation to keep going even when new obstacles appear. So next time you have an excellent idea for a book, wait before you start writing and develop your story first. 

bethany cadman
Bethany Cadman - bethanycadman.co.uk

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