Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login

Writing Guideline
Step One: Coming Up With a Plot line
Ever wanted to write a story but have not known where to start? Or have you had to write one for class and been completely lost of words? Well than here is a few tips that might help you.

1. Think of one thing.
Just one simple thing. That thing could be a large final battle, it could be a dragon, or a clue to a murder, or even just a lamp glowing in an abandoned house. Whatever it is, once you have that one thing, you have to think of reasons why that one thing is so important. Maybe that lamp keeps the monsters of the house locked up for so long as it is on, maybe that dragon is stealing treasure from all the nearby kingdoms for the purpose of buying back her child, or maybe that clue is the murdered mans DNA that proves he never really died.
What ever that thing is, expand on it. Even if you just look around your house you might find it. Remove that "Oh, that's a stupid idea" mental block; in fact, blow up that block with a thousand imaginary hand grenades, then let ideas flow.

2. Come up with a character.
Sometimes, thinking up the right character can have the story flow out on its own; all you have to do is piece the plot to the characters personality. For example, a sly thief might love to steal, it is their passion, but that thief might be bored of stealing the same things, and wants to go for something much bigger. Another example could be a nerd who is a whiz at computers. He has studied how the computers work all his life, but what happens when a man threatening for world domination using the nerds powerful technology comes into play? Maybe that man is the only one with the intelligence to break into the lair and destroy it from the inside.
The character alters the plot.

3. Use plot lines that have already been done.
Sure everyone knows the story of sleeping beauty, but maybe that princess was put to sleep for reason to save everybody that the prince does not know...or maybe that princess is the only one who can save the kingdom, but the only way to wake her is with the blood of a dragon.
There are many ways to figure out a plot line for a story, you just have to find the way that works best for you.

Step Two: Starting to Write
Woah, wait right there, how much have you planned out? Sure you might be able to make things up as you go and still make it sound pretty, but are you really going to have any really interesting plot twists that way? No, you do not have to plan out your whole story in amazing detail- simply saying "Someone important dies here" might even be enough- but foreshadowing is very important and it is something critics look for.

Alright, so you are finally ready to write, but how do you start?  A good way is to start right where the action is without a moments hesitation. Even if it is just a dream, any way that gets you into the story is a good way.

Step Three: Finishing Your Story
You are almost done, but DO NOT RUSH! Even the best stories become horrible by a rushed ending. This is your big finish, the last piece of writing in your story that your reader will see, so make it your best! Take your time, take a deep breath, and find out the perfect ending. With any luck, your ending should be the highlight of your entire book.


Get in the Mood for Writing
A few ways of how to get into the mood for writing...

1. Go and get earplugs/Headphones.
Music can really help you get into the mood for writing, and headphones/earplugs can help separate you from the real world and the distractions it has. Try switching your music around to find which helps you the most.

2. Have a hot shower or bath.
Water can really help take off loads of the stress which can pull you away from wanting to write. Besides that, relaxed moods can make it easier to brainstorm.

3. Eat/Drink something.
It is amazing how many authors snack while they write.

4. Read some of your old work.
Maybe a chapter or so earlier. Sometimes this is all it takes.

5. Meditate.
Sounds dumb, right? Well give it a try. Its actually supposed to be very good for you. Don't know how? Do not sweat it, it's is really very easy and I will post a link in the description on how to get started.
To those who do not know, both writing and drawing are actually forms of meditating.

6. Compete.
Find a friend that likes to write and has similar goals as you, and then set dates.
Maybe whoever has the most done by the end of the month has to pay for the movies, or maybe you both decided to have a chapter done by the end of the month and on that date you will exchange chapters, read them, and give each other your advice or opinions on the newest chapter.
When you have someone expecting you to do something, or you have a goal to beat someone at something, it can really get you pumped to do it.

7. Set a timer on your computer or alarm clock.
Have it go off at the same time every day to tell you when to write, but instead of thinking of it as a pain try to force yourself to only think positive thoughts about your "writing time" and when people comment on it, sound enthusiastic.
If you keep this up, pretty soon it will become a habit and you will learn to love your time to write.

8. Never try to write when you are distracted.
This can mean by both being sick, hurt, or even just stressed. These things can clog up your flow of writing. Instead, work these problems out, find a way to relax, and then try writing again.

9. Change it up.
Fill out one of those "character bios," draw a picture of your character, draw a map, research, and so on. Simply do what ever you can do that will keep your thoughts on your writing.


Coming up with Titles
The important thing to do in these situations is to not stress out. Most authors I have read about did not even try and come up with a title until after the book was written, so if you do not have the right title yet, do not panic, it will come to you

Here are some things to remember when thinking of a title:
- The title should, in someway, represent the story in full.
It could be the main characters name, it could be what they are after or, it could even just say what the meaning of the story is. Just an example off the top of my head for that last one would be a title such as "Fight On." for a superhero novel about not giving up even when it looks like the bad-guys are going to win.

- Try to keep the names short.
This will make them easier for your readers to remember, and will actually make them more likely to talk about it. Names like "The Lord of the Rings" can be quite the mouthful at times, but "Twilight" or "Eragon" come off the tongue quickly and nicely.

- Try to avoid using a characters name.
This is not a set rule, but when you use a characters name, it almost always gives away what the story will be about. Examples are "Eragon" and "Harry Potter;" just by naming the books after them, we can figure out exactly who will be the main character of the book, who the author fancies the most, or even who is most likely to die or live.

- Try to avoid using a quote from your book, or if you do, be very careful about it.
If you do not do this in a clever way, it could quickly make your story very corny; but, on the other hand, it can also be an interesting way to wrap up your story. It is all up to you and how careful you think you can craft it.

-  The title can be almost as important as the story.
If you think about it long enough, you might actually think of something that is really meaningful to your story.
A very ruff example of this is if you have a story about a hero- maybe a samurai- who grows up his whole life learning and living by what is right and what is wrong until he is sent on a mission to kill the son of the king.
You see, the king (or emperor) is evil, and the son is stepping in his fathers footprints. So to protect his country, he breaks into the castle and fights his way to the youths room and stands with the sword above his head while looking into the unarmed princes eyes. However, after a few moments, he lowers the sword and is hacked down by guards.
The prince asks why he did not kill him, and the man utters something about it not being the right thing to do, then he dies.
After that, the prince instead tries not to follow in his fathers footsteps, but the man who fought so hard and then simply turned away despite all his hard work, just because he wanted to follow the path that was right.
Title for this book? Well "honour" would fit in nicely, and have deep meaning into the book.

Remember, it is your story, so no matter what I said, they are simply guidelines and if you already have a title you like, you do not have to change it just because the points above say that it could be better. It is your story, and you should write it yourself from title to ending.

((I am not with "Harry Potter", "The Lord of the Rings", "Eragon", or "Twilight" in any way.))


How to Become a Better Writer
1. Do not over dramatizing your work.
It can get rather annoying if your character is always beating the bad guys, or if your character is always getting captured.
Same thing goes for romance. It can get dull when your character is always finding reasons to be angry at their lover and breaking up, only to get back together again within a chapter or two.
The same goes for when the character thinks their partner is dead multiple times, only to find him safe and be happy again right at the moment where the character needs them most.
Remember, too much of anything can be bad; even for writing.

2. It is NOT cheating to use a dictionary/thesaurus.
That is what they are there for.
If you do not have the largest vocabulary, or have problems thinking of the right word, do not be afraid to use this tool. Besides, doing this will raise your vocabulary anyways. However, make sure that you are not loosing your voice when you use these tools. It is hard to be proud of your ow work when every other word does not sound like your own writing.

4. Show; don't tell.
Don't tell me "she was scared," show me how it feels when her throat tightens with fear, and her heart nearly races away.
Don't tell me that "he is afraid of water," show me by throwing him head first into a lake.
Showing instead of telling gives readers the chance to really step into your characters shoes, and can also give the reader some shocking surprises.
((See the artist comments below for a link to a great blog post by an author about showing instead of telling. ))

5. All scenes, in some way, should relate to the plot.
Meaning that every scene should have a reason for being there, even if the reader knows it or not. Don't be afraid to take out scenes without plot.
Edit: I mashed some of the tutorials together to clean up my gallery.

Promised Links:
Show; Don't Tell: [link]

I am not in any way trying to claim that I am a published author, or a professional, I am simply putting what knowledge I know together for the use of other people.
Add a Comment:
jltartworks Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for making this tutorial! This is already helping me on my next piece!
Cheyanne-Author Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome! I am very glad to help. : )
tmpst24myst Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2016  Student Writer
Thank you for all of the tutorials you've added - they're much appreciated and most helpful. 
Cheyanne-Author Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
: D Awesome! I am super glad to hear that I am helping out.
LydiaGR Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2015
Very good tips :) Hopefully my writing will get better!
Cheyanne-Author Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks!! I hope that I was able to help you out with them. ^_^
CookiesForLyf Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014
Man, you are good at this giving writing tips stuff.
Cheyanne-Author Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks~! I am super glad to help! : ) 
CookiesForLyf Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014
And I'm super happy that you do :)
AshWolf-Forever Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2011  Professional General Artist
Well done.
1000yearseternalmaze Featured By Owner May 3, 2011
Beautiful tutorial.:)
Cheyanne-Author Featured By Owner May 4, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Thanky you! Hope it helped ^_^
1000yearseternalmaze Featured By Owner May 4, 2011
By the way can I ask you something on personal notes?Since you know so much I would like your opinion for some ideas.
Cheyanne-Author Featured By Owner May 5, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
For sure ^_^ Ask anything you want.
1000yearseternalmaze Featured By Owner May 6, 2011
I will note you.
TheBlueFairy1940 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The things that you suggested to get you in the mood for writing are the same exact things I recomend to people who ask me how to get out of writer`s block. I always listen to music that deals with the mood of the story.

Great tips by the way!
Cheyanne-Author Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks! I am super glad you agree/to hear you share your own tips also. I have always thought it is a little selfish to hide tips or secrets that could help other people.
TheBlueFairy1940 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I`ve had plenty of bouts of writers blockage, so I usually know how to handle it. And I agree, we should help other writers in need of help.
Cheyanne-Author Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
GoldenAltaira Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
is it odd I am using this information for both my 'real' stories and fanfics? :work:
Cheyanne-Author Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Lol nope! Fanfics are real stories too, you just borrow the characters. = D

Glad it is helping~!
Kitnighty Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2010  Hobbyist Artist
If there's anything I agree with most here, it's the statement about using dictionary's and thesaurauses to find new words. My best friends, saved me from writers block quite often.
Cheyanne-Author Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Awesome! Glad you agree with me! ^_^
EX-Nightmare Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2010
Well, I can say this will be pretty helpful to anyone wanting to know how to improve on their writing :), not a bad tutorial too.
Cheyanne-Author Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks ^_^
EX-Nightmare Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2010
No problem ^^
SakuraStrength Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2009
Thanks so much! :hug: This will help me with my stories.
Cheyanne-Author Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
No problem! I am glad you like it/hope it helps!
kengen Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2009
I've read most of your guides. And I love you ;D
Cheyanne-Author Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks XD Glad to know I am loved.
Acesulfame Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree with all of those points except one: repeating "said." The reason why it's better to repeat "said" than to use other words too many times is because "said" is, basically, an invisible word. The readers don't even notice that it's repeated so many times, and it gets the point across. You can put emotion into the speaking in so many different ways than just using other words in place of said. It's good to use descriptive words every now and then, like "yelled" and all the others you listed... but, I'd say that 80-90% of speech words used in a piece of writing should be "said."

It becomes annoying when authors seem to be working their way through all of the alternative words for "said" that they can find. It also wears down the meaning; if you use words like "shouted," "yelled," etc., too many times then you lose the impact that you would have had, had you not used those words so often. It ends up coming across as cheap to me.

I did a quick search to find someone that explains this better than I can: [link]
Cheyanne-Author Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
^_^ Thanks for your opinion.
My teacher once said that if you do not use words like "shouted" now and again the word "said" can come across as sounding calm, which does not work well in dramatic situations. I guess what I was trying to say is not that said was a bad word and should be completely avoided, but more emotions can be brought out without it. Of course the context of the speech itself can bring it out, but words other than said can do it more so.

An example is that conversation in that link you sent me. I once read a tutorial from a published author similar to that, and the trick of not writing "said" is still there. Saying "shouted" once is more than enough if the tone does not change, in my opinion, for that situation neither said or a "more colorful word" is needed more than once.

I am really just going by what I have heard published authors saying, but in the end it is really just your writing style which determines what you write.
Acesulfame Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
[whu-oh-- WARNING. Babble alert.]

True. I'm not saying that "said" should be used every time, either. It's just that, as an audience, I (and many people I know) prefer dialog tags (if there are any at all) to be "said" and "asked" way more than any other words.

I just think that you should clarify that "said" isn't a demon word to avoid repeating excessively-- when you have it listed the way you do (under a capitalized DO NOT, with 'the same goes for' preceding it), it seems like a big 'no-no' and it's really not. I think new writers should be focusing, more than anything else, on not depending on and overusing 'shouted' and such words like that.

Yes, it can get bland if you use "said" too many times without injecting a few more descriptive speech tags here and there... but, the same can be said about using too many descriptive speech tags. Descriptive speech tags can put emotions into the text but if you use them too often, those emotions become too flat. So when you want to pull them out in a really deep scene... the words don't affect the reader as much. They might think back to the last time you used the descriptive word. A quick, very half-assed example:

Johnny shouted at Jane for knocking his blocks over.

(Ten pages later)

Johnny yelled at Spike for peeing on the carpet.

(Forty pages later)

Johnny shouted at the murderer of his parents.

(Reader won't be able to know how much Johnny's parents meant to him through his actions, since he acted the same for trivial matters.)

Note that I did say "80-90% of the speech words /used/," though. Because I do think that, ultimately, the best thing is when you don't even have to use speech tags at all. So of course, you don't want to say 'he said, she said, jane said, john shouted,' over and over. It'd be better if it was something like this:

"Nah, he's too old," Jane said.

"Really?" Nancy frowned at the picture. "I don't think he's too old." (Actions convey the tone; no tag)

"He is." (No tag at all, but we can assume that Jane said it, and we can assume that she said it in a 'that's final' tone)

"Okay..." She sighed, jabbing at another photograph. "What about this one?" (As this is supposed to be a two person conversation, we can assume that Nancy said this. Again, tone/emotion is pretty much implied with actions.)

But anyway, back to my point: I think you're nudging newer writers in the wrong direction about this. You're saying that "said" shouldn't be used excessively, but really you should be saying that "said" shouldn't be used exclusively.

So no offense, I just really think you should've worded that part of the guide differently. ( And while I'm pointing out 'errors,' "allot" should be "a lot" [ I type that wrong often, myself xD ])

Also, another point, don't rely too much on published authors. Now, if their words are praised by the critics and English professors alike, then go ahead and trust their words about writing a little bit. But, just because a book is published and selling like hotcakes doesn't mean that the writing is good. Twilight is an example here. ( And no offense meant if you like Twilight, either. But it's really not written very well.)
Cheyanne-Author Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
XD Have you ever been on a debate team? If not, you would totally rock at it...that or being a teacher. I completely understand what you are saying now ^_^
And no, I do not like twilight. No one who understands what good writing is would.
Acesulfame Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Lol, no, no debate team. You're not the first that's mentioned it though. I tend to keep pushing and proving things until I get my point across, so my brother says I should be a lawyer. I'm not verbally articulate enough for it though. I only seem good at it in text :P

In a way I hate that bit about myself, because I almost always end up coming across as a jerk/know-it-all, but I'm really only trying to help :S Even if someone still disagrees with me, I'd rather them understand what I'm saying and disagree with it, than misunderstand it completely.
Cheyanne-Author Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah, thats fine though. Don't worry, I know you are just trying to help with being constructive, and those who can not see that are just too full of themselves. Thanks for the comments!
darquepinkpaper Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2008  Hobbyist
This is great! And I'm not really sure I have anything to recommend...Ure doing great! :D
Cheyanne-Author Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks ^_^
Add a Comment:

:iconcheyanne-author: More from Cheyanne-Author

Featured in Collections

Guides by SherryVeramuto

screws by melissaherrera

how to write by Chengyui

More from DeviantArt


Submitted on
December 15, 2008
File Size
11.1 KB


155 (who?)


Creative Commons License
Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.