Writing A Better Story

Writing A Better Story



Check below for hints and suggestions on​ how to​ organize your writing and make it​ a​ better read for your audience.

Story Summary.

State in​ one or​ two sentences the​ kernel of​ your book,​ story,​ or​ blog. Do not exceed thirty words total.

Outline Structure.

Provide yourself with a​ rough outline of​ the​ story’s structure as​ you see it​ now. This would include story arcs (beginning,​ rise,​ climax),​ character introductions,​ main themes,​ pivotal events,​ key information,​ plot points intended to​ maintain tension,​ etc.

In the​ beginning this doesn’t need to​ be extensive,​ but have it​ set aside to​ refer to,​ and flesh it​ out as​ important points occur to​ you. After you have a​ good outline to​ work with,​ you can use it​ like a​ map. Try to​ avoid adding ideas on​ small slips of​ paper. Instead,​ incorporate them into your outline. if​ you’re not sure where they go,​ guess,​ and mark them with an​ asterisk as​ a​ reminder to​ review them later.

Character Traits/Development Log.

List the​ vital statistics of​ your characters,​ leaving room to​ flesh out the​ information. as​ you think of​ back-story for them,​ traits,​ thoughts,​ etc.,​ list them here. if​ they are main characters in​ a​ long piece,​ consider setting up separate documents for them,​ or​ even databases. Chart a​ time line for your characters as​ you go,​ noting development (growth or​ decline),​ change,​ conflict,​ back story,​ relationships with other characters,​ etc. These thoughts should work in​ tandem with the​ outline you are developing. REMEMBER,​ MOST CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE MADE THROUGH DIALOGUE. THIS is​ the​ MOST RELIABLE WAY to​ CREATE VIVID CHARACTERS THAT the​ READER WILL RECOGNIZE. a​ READER WILL OVERWHELMINGLY BELIEVE a​ SPOKEN CLUE to​ CHARACTER OVER an​ EXPOSITORY ONE.

Note: Characters can and probably need to​ be witty,​ but biting wit creates unsympathetic characters and the​ protagonist should not be unsympathetic. There are exceptions,​ but the​ rule is​ to​ keep your protagonist likeable.

Exposition

Use this as​ a​ device to​ increase tension and augment the​ dramatic tone of​ your work. Be careful to​ limit self-indulgent wallowing or​ too much repetition. Topics could include goals,​ plans,​ fears,​ and dreams. Exposition shouldn’t be long-winded,​ and should have variety. Build on​ previous revelations,​ and vary short and long sentences to​ give your exposition rhythm and punch.

Remember,​ when readers get tired or​ bored,​ this is​ the​ stuff they skip. Make your exposition as​ readable as​ possible. if​ you’re going to​ lose someone,​ this is​ probably where it​ will happen.

Conflict

Stories are about conflict. Conflict is​ an​ essential element of​ fiction. in​ your writing there should always be at​ least two things in​ your story that are sources of​ conflict. There should be one conflict which follows through the​ whole story and is​ only resolved at​ the​ end.

Secondary conflicts are necessary because they propel the​ reader through slower sections of​ the​ story and maintain tension and momentum. You should structure your work to​ include secondary conflicts where they will keep your writing moving at​ a​ pace that will make the​ reader keep the​ book in​ his hand. Try diagramming the​ story by conflict to​ see where the​ gaps are.

Have Fun

If you’re having fun writing,​ your reader will know it. One of​ the​ easiest things you can do to​ improve your writing is​ to​ enjoy it. Whatever your level of​ skill,​ you’re creating something. the​ more enthusiasm you have for the​ process,​ the​ better the​ end product will be.




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