Earlier this month, I wrote an article on the fundamental steps to writing your first story (admittedly, that video at the end of the article was telling of what’s about to come). Today, I’m going to go into each aspect I covered there, starting with the outline. Before I begin, I must mention how vital Creating a framework is. It organizes your thoughts and allows you to generate more ideas, as well as straighten out the ideas that are in your head. Of the three sections below, it doesn’t have to be presented in the order shown, but these are the three main areas of a story outline.


The beauty of this section is that it doesn’t have to be our world but any world. You get to create the world in which the story takes place. Μαρία Καλύβα explains the main details necessary in world-building. As you write it down, let your imagination fly! There may be new ideas that come to you as you create the place where your story occurs. Be sure to answer questions such as:

  • How is this world different from ours? What seasons does it have? Time? Weather?
  • What life lives in this world? What are the animals and fauna in this place? Any intelligent life, and if so, how do they look? Any technology?
  • What is the history of this world? Was it peaceful or was it bloody?

There’s a lot of questions to answer when you’re world-building, and I wasn’t exhaustive here.

Character creation

Another part of a story outline is creating the characters in the story. Who are the protagonists? Antagonists? Any other characters who will be relevant to the story? Aside from these, there is a myriad of questions to answer. By answering them for each character, you better understand who they are and what they hope to achieve in the story.

Doing it for a lot of characters is tedious work, but well worth the effort as it allows you to bring them to life.

The story’s plot

The last piece is the story’s plot. What happens in the story? How are the characters involved? One of the best ways to figure this out is to follow well-known structures such as the Three-Act structure and the Hero’s Journey.

These help piece the story’s plot together to make it strong and make readers want to pick up your story to read it. There are sites across the web that can help with the narrative, such as the video at the end of the article.

For each of these three elements, it is essential to be creative about what you want to write. Don’t follow the crowd and write something they have done. If you do, make your twists and turns so that it stands out from the others. Ask yourself this question: “What makes this story stand out from others that are similar to it?” Readers will be having similar thoughts, and they won’t read your story if it’s too similar to ones that already exist. Creating an outline is a lot of work, but you’ll be well-rewarded for the effort as you go on to write the story.