The idea of writing a story that is both engaging and compelling can be daunting, especially if you’re just starting out.
Often, new writers believe that they have to write perfect sentences and be excellent at storytelling right from the get-go, but the truth is that everybody is rubbish at first; with writing, as with anything, you get better the more you do it. Practice really does make perfect, or at least as close to perfect as anyone can get.
That said, there are a few key points which, when thought out properly, can help you write a compelling story that will keep your reader interested and reading your hard work.
Your characters will probably be the most important part of your story because, without them, there would be no story to tell. It’s important that your characters are believable and come to life in the mind of a reader and the only way to achieve that is to think hard about who your characters are. Make them interesting, give them a flaw or two with a strong voice and personality.
Characters that are not well thought out will appear flat and unrelatable. Ideally, you as the writer should know everything about your characters, even if you only use a fraction of that information, because the more you really know your characters the better you’ll be able to relate them to the reader.
Just as you need a character of some kind to tell a story, so do you need a setting; after all, stories have to take place somewhere -even if that somewhere is an empty void called nowhere, with no other places or people except the story’s protagonist.
The reader should be able to get a good sense of your setting, so it is vital that you use vivid description when writing your scenes.
The trick with writing about the setting of a story is to use all five senses; describing the sights, smells, tastes, sounds and feel of the places your writing about can make for a story that is all the more compelling than if you only describe what the characters can see.
A goal is what a character wants and/or needs, and it is what pulls them through the story. Without goals, your characters have nothing to strive for, and the story would never go anywhere. You should think about what your characters want, why they want it and also how they will go about getting it.
Conflict is anything and everything that stands in the way of your characters achieving their goals and getting what they want. It could be anything from the active efforts of an antagonist, something like a natural disaster getting in the way, or even your characters themselves. Sometimes a person can be their own worst enemy and have to face up to their fears or regain self-confidence before they can move on.
Something Worth Remembering
Goals and conflicts are intrinsically linked, and they help to drive the plot of your story. If nobody or nothing stood in the way of your characters’ goals, then they would be instantly achievable, and there would be no story.
As always, thanks for spending your time reading my words, I very much appreciate it!
Until next time,
© 2018 GLT