Ever start a book with a bunch of paragraphs about a character’s background/setting? Or have you ever actually been NICE to your characters? Hmm, seems like you need a little advice from Alexander Gordon Smith, the author of The Escape from Furnace Series, who is helping us plot our novels in today’s horror tutorial. 100% guaranteed to make your book kick boringness where it hurts.
Putting them through hell!
Now that you have your basic story idea, your main character and your bad guy, it’s time to think about what to do with them – the plot. Usually a plot involves a character facing a problem or a fear at the start, then going through hell trying to solve this problem or overcome their fear, and (hopefully) solving / overcoming it at the end!
Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end, and before you start writing it’s always good to have a rough idea of what is going to happen. Don’t plan everything out in too much detail, and don’t be afraid to change things if you get a better idea, but make a simple outline, a map that you can follow so that you don’t get lost:
The Beginning: This is where the character first encounters his or her worst fear, usually in a terrifying opening chapter! Make the opening of your book as exciting and dramatic (and as scary) as possible (start in the middle of something exciting)!
Write a sentence or two for your outline:
The Middle: The bulk of a story is the middle, where a character tries to overcome their fear or defeat their enemy. Your job as a writer is to make life as difficult as possible for your characters, so throw in as many challenges and complications as you can! When you have done that, put yourself in your character’s shoes and work out how they would defeat these challenges.
Again, write a short description for your outline:
The End: This is where the character manages to overcome their fear and defeat their enemy (or not, it’s totally up to you)!
Remember, don’t make it easy for them, and keep it fast- paced and exciting!: