How Important Is The Story Premise?

As a writer, I have only just learned about the importance of having a premise for a story/book or whatever it is that you’re working on. And it really helped me a lot once I understood its importance to the fiction writing process.

I learned it from Joe Bunting over at The Write Practice. I have used a lot of the advice from Joe since seriously thinking about writing and publishing my work. And I can tell you from experience that he is the real deal, no click-bait or bad advice here. Joe is a best selling author and you can check out his body of work dedicated to writing and helping other writers achieve success.

I’ve done everything you can possibly think of to help me with my writing including paying a lot of money for courses, buying books from various sources and watching and listening to countless videos on YouTube. Some of it was useful, most of it not so much. And the part that helped me more than anything was free from Joe and that was how to write a premise for your story.

The premise can be basically anything you want it to be as long as it tells readers what your story is about, who your story is about and what they can expect if they were to read it. The tricky thing about a premise is that it has to convey all of that in just a few sentences (preferably just one). And this is where it can be a little difficult for writers. Even Joe has explained that it took him a long time before he came up with a good enough premise to use for some of his books.

So how do you create a premise for your book? You can check out Joe’s instruction on how to create a premise here.

Once you have the premise you can use it to guide you right throughout your writing process. I know this works because that is how I got to the end of writing the second part of my story for Tales of the West. Before having the premise, I was actually a little lost in terms of where I wanted my story to go. By having a working premise, you can then write around it and outline a basic plan for your story and character progression.

What is your writing process? Do you write by the “seat of your pants” or are you someone that plans out every aspect of your story? Let me know in the comments as I am keen to know how other writers progress and work through their processes.

Thanks for reading

If you’re new to my blog – thank you for coming and welcome! I will assume you’re here for the writing and you can read my Tales of the West series starting with Milly’s story (Part I) and Ethan’s follow-up story recently completed (Part II).



Categories: The Craft of Writing

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7 replies

  1. I was always a big planner. I’d write character sketches, plot outlines, just freewriting on where I thought I wanted the story to go. Often whole notebooks, lol. Sometimes I loved this part more than the actual writing! I had to be careful not to go overboard, though, because if I knew too much, the actual writing got methodical and boring, and that’s when I might abandon it. I didn’t like writing “by the seat of my pants,” though, because when I tried it, I often wrote myself into corners I couldn’t get out of, and then I’d have to start over, or backtrack. It’s a balancing act between knowing where you’re headed, and discovering as you go.

    Liked by 1 person

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  1. Finding the Right Premise for My Next Story – The Broken Quill

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