Week 1: Fiction basics

Welcome to week one! This video goes through some basics of writing fiction; I'm not too happy with the sound quality but I hope I'll find a better microphone or setup.

This video is about 1 hour long; I recommend breaking it up into chunks and doing a few slides a day - I also included the PDF of the slides I was using down below.


What makes a story?


  • Consistent tense / POV
  • Linear timeline
  • A character worth caring about (avatar)
  • Something they want, and an inability to get it
  • An event or challenge they cannot overcome
  • ...that forces them to change.
  • A barrier or active antagonist
  • A setting (description)
  • Interesting characters (cast)
  • Obstacles (challenges)
  • Difficult decisions
  • A beginning and an end


Rewards must outweigh the risks (they must want goal enough to overcome dangers: must be completely committed to action). Pressure forces action, and keeps the momentum.



See if you can write your story in a few sentences, using this formula.


My character is a _____ who wants _____. But then when ________, they're forced to _____.

And they have to choose between ____ and ____.


In the end, they learn _____ (probable theme of the book; but don't worry if yours doesn't have a crucial or critical theme, it's not necessary.)

novel-writing-basicsWK1.pdf
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