If you clicked on this article, you’re probably interested in telling your own stories. That’s wonderful! But, before you pick up a pencil or open up a new document, check these tips out. The following enumerated tips are suggestions I have for aspiring writers:
Dialogue: Good dialogue is crucial for making the story interesting and engaging. I suggest that you don’t use super-sophisticated words; write your character’s the way you would speak. Additionally, add emotions and actions behind what the character is doing. For example, instead of saying “‘That sounds risky,’ he said,” write, “‘That sounds risky,’ he objected, tapping the pencil nervously.” Doing so will give the reader a better understanding of what the character feels, even through body language.
Setting: I absolutely hate reading stories when there’s no detail at all about the places the characters go to or what those places look like. Please, for my sake and your readers, take a sentence or two to describe the room your character is locked in, the house they see in the distance, or the forest they hike through. The setting is hugely important; certain details can be used later in the story, and it’s crucial for your reader to understand what’s going on. It also makes the story engaging, and gives the reader a more accurate picture of what’s going on.
Free-range Characters: If you’re passionate about your story and get far into writing, you’ll see that your characters are beginning to write themselves. They’ve become their own people, and you’ve simply become a vessel for them. These imagined characters have their own personalities and thoughts, and what they do and say might surprise you. Let them do their own thing, at least during the first draft. On the topic of characters, give them a deep development; the villain can have an amazing redemption arc, the main character can become the villain, etc. Basically, the more interesting characters tend to see the world differently at the end of the story and change dynamically. Yes, their choices may stray from what you had in mind, but isn’t that the fun of writing?
Show, not tell!: The best way to convey a character’s emotions is to show it. Good ways to show their emotions are through body language, a change in how they act, and a change in how they think and see the world. It’s not fun to read, “He was mad.” It’s a million times better to read, “His face had reddened, and his knuckles were white from being clenched into fists.”
I hope these three tips help you in your process of creating a wonderful story. Remember, have fun while writing. This is your story, your world, your characters. Don’t let anything get in the way of creating your next bestselling novel!