Core Needs


In your work, you must have some kind of idea of what you are offering to the public, even if you are still in the planning stage. You should at least have a notion of whether you have written or want to write a Comedy or an Epic, or a Tragedy or an Irony.

Perhaps you want your epic fantasy to rival Tolkien’s or George R. R. Martin’s and have some idea of the sense of wonder you want to leave readers with.

Maybe you are imagining a romantic novel which you would like to emotionally grip readers while also stretching the boundaries of the genre.

Possibly you have in mind a grand tragedy with the fall of a great figure prompting introspection in a range of readers.

Or you might have a collection of short horror stories in mind, designed to produce shock and a sense of nightmare.

In each case, large or small, the engine that drives the story will be its core need. The mechanics of what that need is exactly, and how it works to attract readers to your tale, are described in great detail in How Stories Really Work and the e-course How to Write Stories That Work and Get them Published. But your first task as a writer is to determine which core idea you are going to use.

If you are burning to write a particular story or set of stories, and already have a clear idea of what you are going to write, then you will still benefit from clarifying what these core needs will be.

When you first established your work, or first made plans to do so, you probably had an idea of what your main ‘message’ would be. To be