SETTING: It’s important that your setting matches the atmosphere of your story. Don’t make it heaven if the atmosphere is hellish. Take the readers somewhere they would enjoy going and you are familiar with. Or take them somewhere exotic to grab and keep their interest. This might mean more research for you, but it can be a market aspect for the book. Example: Murder in Budapest, who wouldn’t enjoy traveling vicariously to India?
CHARACTERS: Protagonist and Antagonists-- The protagonist is your hero or main character. The antagonist is what motivates the protagonist’s movements or needs. Know these two main characters as well as your BFF. Do deep interviews with both. Know what they want and need and what stops them from getting it. It is also good to do interviews with other characters as well. The better you know the character, even if a minor one, the greater the chance your reader will have to relate to their action or dialog.
POINT OF VIEW: Omniscient point of view: Think of yourself as God.
Detached observer: Narrator telling what happened.
First-person: The hardest point of view to write well. A single character is telling the story, “I”.
THEMES: There are so many and so little time to talk about them all. But generally, a good story has three or more (depending on the length). A theme is the major idea the author wants to get across in the book. Minor Themes then work to project the major. For example, Slaughterhouse-Five, even though it is a book about WWII, is an anti-war-themed book. The minor themes that give the reader an anti-war opinion are: the absurdities of War, Freewill-vs-determinism, Death, Meaninglessness of Life, Darwinism vs. Christianity, and Authority to Blame.
PLOT: Conflict- The dispute or struggle the story engages in exploring.
Inner Conflict: Emotional or Psychological.
Outer Conflict: Physical Events.
Climax: The peak or apex of the conflict.
DENOUEMENT: This is the resolution or conclusion of the story. In a mystery, the climax is generally finding the solution to the mystery. The Denouement is the happy detective after having had such a success.
FOR FURTHER READING:
Good Books on Writing to pick up:
I have personally read and taken tips from all these books I am recommending.
Super Structure: The Key to Unleashing the Powers of the Story by James Scott Bell
Mastering the Process: From Idea to Novel, by Elizabeth George
13 Ways At Looking at the Novel, by Jane Smiley
How to Plot and Write A Brilliant Story from One Powerful Question, by Susan May Warren
Creating Compelling Characters from The Inside Out, by L. M. Lilly
Thinking Theme, The Heart of the Matter, by William Bernhardt
Writing Your Story’s Theme, by K. M Weiland