How to Write a Story

Writing a story is a process that involves a series of events, usually centered around a string of characters, that develop from an inciting incident to a conclusion. Whether you want to write a fiction or non-fiction book, you can take several steps to ensure your work is as compelling as possible.

Show, don’t tell

The show, don’t tell writing technique is a great way to help guide readers through a story. It allows them to experience the characters’ emotions and creates a connection.

This type of writing is essential for creating impactful stories. By using vivid imagery and detail, writers can transport readers into the world they’ve created. A reader’s imagination can fill in the gaps.

“Show, don’t tell” is one of the oldest pieces of writing advice. It was developed as novelists began re-framing their stories as in-the-moment experiences. Previously, most novels were framed as retellings. Today, the best authors use to show, don’t tell throughout their careers.

Although it’s a helpful writing technique, it can also become overblown. To avoid this, it’s essential to find a style of writing that works for you. Practice with your work, and read books by successful authors.

Introduce the inciting incident early

An inciting incident is a moment that gets the story started. It can be an event, character trait, or series of events that will change your protagonist’s life.

Usually, the inciting incident occurs early in the first act of your story. However, you can place it later or up to 10% in the book.

Inciting incidents can be significant and epic, or they can be small and humorous. Regardless of how they’re written, they have one thing in common: they hook readers. That’s why they’re essential.

If you don’t have a solid inciting incident, the rest of your story may not work. An excellent way to find out is to look at a successful level. By identifying the moment the action started, you can find out what type of story it was.

Establish your characters

When writing a story, you must first establish your characters. This involves knowing your character’s motivations, strengths, and weaknesses. While this might seem a no-brainer, it’s essential to be clear about your feelings. Otherwise, your story may read too generic.

For example, your protagonist might have blonde hair. This may not be relevant to the plot, but it could color how others respond to her. Another example is the violet-eyed heroine who is suspicious of everyone, panics when the stakes are high, and has trouble winning her allies.

There are several ways to make your characters enjoyable. You can do this by writing in a recognizable and unique voice, showing your personality through body language, and using dialogue to set them apart.

Create a big-picture summary

When writing a story, you want to create a big-picture summary. You can use this document for many different things, including presentations, lectures, and work. While the structure of an outline will differ from a typical story, there are specific guidelines you can follow to ensure that your final document is well-constructed.

First, you need to determine what your big-picture summary will include. For example, if you’re working on a summary of an article, note some of the main ideas the article supports. However, you want to avoid over-explain or expressing your opinion about those ideas. The key is to give your audience a clear picture of the material.

Many writers say that a good service to help you write a summary.

End with a realization or revelation

If you haven’t already read the Harry Potter series, you might not be aware that the main character, Harry Potter, is, in fact, a wizard. Interestingly, the same can be said for the Percy Jackson series. In the aptly named The Lightning Thief, the protagonist discovers he is the son of the Greek God Poseidon. While it isn’t an overtly revealing moment, the discovery does bring the character to a higher level of awareness.

Similarly, the story’s protagonist may discover a new thematic desire that will be dramatized in the climax. Depending on the level, this may be as obvious as the main character’s secret admirer or as arcane as the wizard’s secret above. However, the best way to implement this is to save it for later in the story.


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