Wondering what a premise is? You’ve come to the right place. To cut a long story short, a premise essentially refers to the main structural elements of a story and is intended to serve as guidance for the writer.

In other words, it’s a summary of what the story will be about.

In this article, we are going to be taking a deeper look into what a premise is so that you will be able to ensure that your one will contain a strong foundation and clear direction so that you will be able to write a book that your readers will love.

So, without further ado, just keep on reading to learn more about what the premise is in writing. Scroll on!

What Is A Premise In Writing?

To cut a long story short, the premise simply refers to the core foundation of what it is that you want your story to be about. In other words, a premise is simply a summary of what your story is going to be about! 

With that being said, a premise is essentially an initial idea that helps to form the foundation of a work of fiction.

Not only is it the first impression that you will be giving your publisher, editor and potential readers an insight into what the story is going to be all about, but it will also serve as a guidance tool for you while you are actually writing the story.

Even though it might seem like a tedious task to undertake prior to even writing the book, many writers feel that the premise to a story is absolutely essential because it tells others of what the story is about, while also providing the writer with a clear direction of what the purpose of the book even is.

When creating a premise for a fictional book, you’ll need to make sure that you have clearly expressed what the plot of the story is going to be.

Typically, this is often done in just one or two sentences. As you might have already been able to tell, the premise is not intended to be overly long, and will typically be a lot shorter than a pitch or logline would be.

In essence, the story premise should only contain all of the “highlights” of what the story is going to be about, while also providing clear, focused insight into what the major story elements are going to be.

Now, while this might sound pretty simple, narrowing a story down into just a few short sentences can certainly be a lot easier said than done.

However, luckily enough, there are plenty of ways that you can help to ensure that you are able to get your story’s point across without going into too much detail, one of the most important things being following a structure. This brings us to our next section.

What Is A Premise In Writing?

What Should a Story Premise Include?

While writing a premise, regardless of whether that might be fiction or otherwise, you should make sure that you have included all of the major elements that you feel are crucial to the story’s overall structure.

That being said, when getting started, you should make sure that you have revealed something key about your main character, as this will help to ensure that your readers are able to make a first impression of them.

Usually, this key fact will often reveal either a need of the character or a desire that they might have.

Along with the above, you should also make sure that you reveal major plot points so that your readers know what the story is about, as well any themes and tropes that you feel might be relevant.

Let’s scroll down to the next section to learn more about how to incorporate all of these elements into your very own premise.

How Do You Write a Premise?

Now that you have a clear understanding of what a premise is, as well as all the key elements that one should include – we are now going to be providing you with some helpful tips and tricks that will ensure you are able to write your very own premise!

Just like with all other aspects of writing, in order to write a great premise, you’re  going to need to make sure that you are getting plenty of practice.

In fact, one of the best ways that you can hone your technique and refine your ability to write in the style of the premise is by observing the way some of your favorite writers have written their own.

Along with taking inspiration from other writers, you should also make sure that you are following these basic rules when creating your own premise:

Write to your market: When it comes to writing your premise, this is one of the most important rules that you are going to need to follow.

It’s always a good idea to consider popular themes and tropes so that you can take advantage, incorporate them into your story’s premise and reach new audiences. 

Don’t overcomplicate it: This one should certainly go without saying! When writing your premise, you’re going to want to make sure that you aren’t overcomplicating the premise and instead sticking to just a few sentences. 

Reveal the protagonist’s motivation: Last but not least, you’re going to want to make sure that you have revealed a key fact about your protagonist, so that your readers will be able to make a clear impression of them immediately.

Keep in mind that, while your protagonist certainly doesn’t need to be likable, their motivations should at the least be able to strike a feeling of empathy within your readers. 

The Bottom Line

There we have it! You’ve made it to the end of our guide.

After taking the time to read through this guide, we hope that we have been able to not only give you a clear understanding of what a premise is in writing, but also how to write one for yourself. Bye for now!



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