What to Avoid & Characterization

When writing a story, it’s easy to get washed away in the flood of your imagination and just keep writing and writing until you’ve lost sight of where you were originally headed. Getting ahead of yourself is a thing that happens, and it happens unfortunately often. Slow down and organize your thoughts before beginning to write. Some good ways to sort out your ideas are:

  • Plot diagrams are very useful

  • Make a list of important plot points (in chronological order)

  • Take a scene/plot point you can’t get out of your head and write a quick stream of consciousness (this will help if you have an idea and want to build a story around it)


Okay, you have a scene in your head and it’s exciting and dramatic and wonderful and you just have to share it with everyone. But wait, you need to have a lead-up to this scene or it won’t be as exciting as it is in your head. Don’t panic. Just take that scene and go with it; write the scene and make it as amazing as you want, write as much as you want, get it all out. Good. Now that that’s out of your system, you can now focus on building a plot around this one scene. And who knows, maybe your ideas will change and you have to re-write the scene. That’s okay, it’s all part of the story writing and plot-building process.


Another thing that can either make or break your story is characterization. Having interesting, believable characters is essential to a good story. Many people will choose to build their characters around the plot, and this is okay. It is also okay to build plot around characters; it all just depends on how your ideas come to you.


Don’t make your characters flat, stereotypical cutouts. Give them life, maybe an interesting backstory, an issue that they have, make them interesting.


Give your characters human qualities; make them relatable. If your characters are too perfect, or too plain, people will find them boring. Give them quirks and personalities, things that make them likeable. Solid characters are the base for every good story. Just remember these tips and you will surely have a winning plot and piece of writing on your hands!


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