How to Write a Premise
For all writers, every style of work begins with a premise; a main idea. To come up with a premise, you just have to ask yourself one primary question—what is my work about? Your answer only needs to cover the most simple details, without much elaboration. Here are some further questions that can help you come up with the ideas that will make up the backbone of your writing:
– What is the main subject?
– What is the major action?
– Who are the characters (fictional or real)?
– What will happen?
– Why does it matter?
– Is there a moral or lesson to be learned?
If you can come up with answers to some of those questions, then you can develop a clear and concise premise. Basically, it should combine the thoughts behind all of those details into one main idea.
After coming up with a premise for your project—whether it’s an essay, a novel, a short story or other form—you are then prepared to start the actual writing. Everything you write will be based upon this original idea, which, as mentioned, will serve as the foundation for your work.
When to Use a Premise
Naturally, the time to use a premise is when you are in the beginning stages of developing a writing project. In fact, that’s pretty much the only time to use a premise, because once you begin writing a work, you probably already know what it’s about!
Developing a premise is generally the first step in the writing process. Coming up with a clear premise when you are just starting a piece of writing is both smart and helpful for its overall success. Without a basic, clear idea of what you are going to write about, completing the project will be very difficult.
Once you have an idea or particular details about a potential story or nonfiction piece, start jot-ting them down. Soon enough, those ideas will grow into a premise, and that’s when you can start the real work.