Monday, June 25, 2012

Start With A Great Premise

No, the beginning of a great book doesn't start with a great opening line. And guess what? It doesn't start with hot sexy characters. Your great stories will begin with a great premise. I have to say, I see a lot of stories that cross my desk where I really don't believe the writers ever thouught about this. They had a great line or a scene and attempted to build a story around it. Needless to say, when we see stories like this, we often find that the story simply goes no where. When you think about your premise, you need to really stop and think bout what you want your reader to leave with when they are finished. Do you want them to think about their own relationships? Do you want them to reconsider something happening in the society today? Maybe it is a chance to reconsider a historical period or individual in a new light. I have heard writers try to find that "theme" after they have written the story. Sometimes they can be lucky with this, but more often than not, that theme really doesn't extend through the whole story,mor maybe, it really isn't theme but something they want it to be. Remember, we cannot make the story into something that it isn't The point of this is simple. Stop and think before you dive into that project. I do believe the outcome will be more to your liking. Scott


  1. You may want to give an example of what a premise is. Many of your readers probably don't have a clue.

  2. Marilynn,
    Great question. When I talk about the premise of the story, we are looking at essentially the over-all concept/theme of the story. This will often include not just plot issues, but also thematic issues for the story.

  3. I find I can't get started without answering two questions first. Question number one is, "what would it be like if...?" After I answer that, I ask, "what do I want this to be about?" When I have answers to both, I'm ready to write. Works for me at least.