Do you want to know how to write a story step by step? If you already have your idea, now you have to put it on paper. Please write it down in a notebook (my favourites are the Moleskines), in a note application (like Evernote) or even on a post-it.
You’re probably looking forward to writing it from start to finish. It does not matter if it is the idea for your website, your social networks or your online store, if it is in the video, in images or just text. Before you sit down to write, you must give shape to your idea.
If you want to tell stories professionally, forget about that romantic idea of writing only when you feel inspired, thinking that you will sit in front of your computer. You will be able to finish your great work and that it will be perfect.
And what is perfect work? It is not the one that everyone will like or that will be able to revolutionize society. It is not even a video that manages to go viral. No, excellent work is a finished work, complete, without loose fringes.
You must be clear about what message you want to convey and what story you want to tell (it is not the same, we will see the difference later). It would help if you also built your characters correctly and, without a doubt, define the structure.
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Table of Contents
Here are the five steps before writing a story:
Step 1. Define your goal and your ideal client
If you want to know how to write a story step by step, you must know who you are talking to. It may be obvious, but telling a story for a child is not the same as telling it for an adult. In the same way, it is different to write for an experienced reader than for an occasional one.
The language used will vary, as will the grammatical and structural complexity. Therefore, my recommendation is to create a profile with the data of the ideal client you want to attract: is it a man or a woman? How old are you? What are your main interests?
This profile is called, in marketing, buyer persona. When you are clear, write for that person. Always keep it on your mind as you create your story.
Besides, it would be best if you defined a goal. What do you want to achieve with your story? Perhaps you want to improve the notoriety of your brand, or maybe you are looking to retain your customers. Maybe your objective goes further, and you want to educate the population about an issue and thus promote your brand values.
Once you have defined the goal you want to achieve, the strategy to succeed you set it.
Step 2. Decide how and where you will tell your story
Once you are clear about your objective and the audience you are targeting, you must decide your story’s format and distribution channels. In other words, will it be a written or audiovisual story? You can create an account for the written format (for example, for your About Me page ) or create a video, but you can also use the photos of your products or decide on the audio story if you decide on a podcast.
The decision to offer the story in a single instalment or to do it across different episodes is yours.
Likewise, depending on the type of story, you can distribute it through different channels. I am not referring to the promotion itself, for which I hope you will use your website, your social networks, your newsletter, etc., but the original channel through which you will transmit your story.
You can publish your story on your blog, tell the story of a product in its file, present yourself in an e-mail to your subscribers or publish a book. If it is audiovisual, you could project it in a room if you are organizing an event or post it on YouTube for everyone to see. Finally, if it is an audio story, there is the option of creating a podcast.
Step 3. Write the premise and synopsis
The premise of a story is the fundamental idea on which a work is based. It is the main message that you want to send to your ideal client.
Its lack of definition is usually a significant beginner’s mistake that influences the development of the entire story. If you want to know how to write a story step by step, this is one you should never skip. The premise answers the question, What idea do you want to convey? Every story has a hypothesis, and every level sends a message, an idea that we want to convince about.
If you do not define it before you start writing, your idea will come to light, but it will do it wrong. It will not be understood correctly, and you will not achieve your goal. Therefore, write your premise. It should be a concise phrase: Money does not bring happiness, Reaching power implies loneliness, Love is stronger than death itself, etc.
Once achieved, write a synopsis of your story. You already know what idea you want to spread, now think about how you will do it. Here it would help if you narrated your story in a summarized way. Take, for example, synopses of movies you read before going to a movie theatre or the back covers of books.
Remember that you can tell many types of stories around your brand: obstacles overcome and achievements achieved, where your products come from, the experience of your employees, the testimonials of your customers, and so on.
Step 4. Work on your characters
Knowing your characters well is vitally important. A well-constructed character is one whose thoughts, actions, and description are consistent with each other.
When you write a story, you want to keep your audience watching your story from beginning to end. To achieve this, you must make your audience feel identified with the account you tell them.
Therefore, the ideal is that you base the profile of your protagonist on that of your buyer persona. If you address women who are mothers of children under three years of age, for example, have a woman with these characteristics star in your story.
Keep in mind that if a character is not well built, he will reject the public. If your audience doesn’t trust your main characters, they will hardly end up believing your story. Your message will not get through, and you will not have achieved your goal.
Before starting to write, generate a file on each one of them. Ideally, you should define the protagonist and antagonist as a minimum, and you should continue with the most relevant secondary characters.
Step 5. Write your rundown
Finally, it is time to face the last step before writing your story: writing your rundown. In this case, it is about summarizing the story in as much detail as possible.
It is much longer than the synopsis and includes all critical actions. You must indicate the trigger and the turning points of the structure in three acts. Ultimately, it’s about writing your story without dwelling on descriptions or dialogue.
Writing an outline will help you follow a storyline. When we talked about overcoming the fear of the blank page, I commented that it worked very well for me to have a structure on which I was developing my arguments. To know how to write a story step by step is instrumental in having an outline to guide us in events.
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