This week, Alida, Robert, and Kathryn define the story premise and how it works to get you writing. It’s simple. It often seems cliche. But it’s an essential first stage of the writing process.




What is a premise and how elaborate does it need to be? Does a premise limit your imagination or story? How do you know if you have a full premise, or just a piece of the story? And how long should you work on that premise?

What we talked about:

How elaborate of a premise should you start with? (1:35)

The parts of a premise. (2:33)

Premises don’t limit you! (5:12)

The cliche premise. (6:18)

A format for your premise. (7:40)

How can you use your premise to keep yourself on track during your draft? (8:17)

Why do you need a premise before you develop your protagonist? (9:30)

Don’t worry about a “perfect” premise. (10:50)

How long does it take to craft a premise? (13:30)

Our flashes of inspiration are not the same as a premise. (14:40)

How do you go from inspiration to premise? (16:18)

Your premise is your springboard! (17:00)


Things we mentioned:

Robert McKee – Controlling Idea

Want more about these topics? Check out:

SWRT 9: Story Ideas
SWRT 022 Inspiration

Have thoughts, questions, other examples? Join the conversation at the Story Works Writers Facebook group

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