Helpful Tips to Improve Storytelling

Everybody has a story within them. Everyone is a story. Write for yourself and let it be real for you.

Writing is a commitment, and once started, begins a process that develops in its own time and way.

So many kinds of writing:

  • True life (nonfiction), historical fiction, fiction, poetry, screenplays, critiques, biographies, music lyrics, etc.

There are a variety of genres, themes and settings. Sometimes it helps to read the type of writings that you are interested in producing yourself.

Check out how these authors build their stories, develop their characters, how they structure their prose. This will give you a template upon which to hang your own writing, using what you liked from the author’s approach, and discarding what doesn’t interest you.

Whatever your topic, write prolifically. Some pieces will work out, while others won’t, but you will have gained valuable experience none-the-less. You are your own best teacher!

Stories:

  • Entertain;
  • Educate, enlighten and/or transform the reader;
  • Tell a story;
  • Gives an energy to the words on the page;
  • Arouses our curiosity;
  • Stimulates our imagination;
  • Helps to develop our intellect and clarify our emotions;
  • Help us to interpret and overcomes obstacles;
  • Teach us to see things from a different perspective

For whatever reason something has been written down, the interested reader will always come away with something especially meaningful to themselves only. Authors have little control over what inspiration their writings give to others.

The written word is born from the imagination, from the writer’s feelings and experiences. In some cases they merely show you what you already know, but help you to see it from a different perspective.

Form:

  • A story has a beginning, middle and an end.
  • Clues within the narrative give insight into the author’s message.
  • Contrasting characters, events, thoughts and feelings help move the plot along and hook the reader into the journey.
  • All writing needs a logical, linear train of thought, though it does not always end in a predictable way.
  • Let the dialogue, the characters, move the story along. Keep the narrator to a minimum, allowing the reader to develop the story in their mind.

Try these exercises:

  • Imagine a story and see the characters developing; write down what you see in your mind’s eye.
  • Explore the possibilities offered by different methods of writing. What is your favourite?
  • Elaborate on the 5 senses to enhance your writing.
  • Develop an ending and write something around it.
  • Develop a dialogue between your characters and let them run it to its logical conclusion

Article by: Hans Victor von Maltzahn & Elizabeth Banfalvi

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