Every story begins with a premise, even if it’s not specifically put into words. The premise of a story is the very basic idea or topic that you start off with. It’s the very general answer to the ‘What’s your story about?’ question. This should be the first thing you come up with when you decide to write a novel. Think of ‘premise’ as a verb. It’s something you do to ignite the spark that eventually will grow into a fire. The official Dictionary definition of premise as a verb is: “base an argument, theory, or undertaking on”. This is the definition that I like best because that’s exactly what an author is doing when they land on a premise! The premise is what you base the undertaking of your novel on.
My premise is this: a young meerkat is separated from his family.
My premise for the whole series is: Following a family of meerkats as they struggle internally and externally.
It’s that simple! Of course, I have developed my premise since I first came up with it. So, to recap, a premise is just the very base of your novel. An author always starts with one even if they do not explicitly state what it is.
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If you are interested in watching the video that goes along with this post click on this link: https://youtu.be/CH8BhhHVp48