Story Writing

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story writing

Humans have an innate love for stories. Through stories, we connect with people, find similarities and share experiences. Whether it is Saadat Hassan Manto talking about the complex issues of society or it is George Orwell questioning authoritarianism through the use of allegory, storytelling is one of the most unique creative career options that has always been influential. Using literary tools, writers paint a vivid picture of their imagination and through that, they interact with readers and pass on the jewels of life philosophy and valuable information. Story writing has emerged as the most ancient form of expression which has been reshaped by the use of modern technologies.

What is Story Writing?

Storytelling is an art and a form of human expression that is prevalent for centuries. Whether it is a movie, a book, or a play, it all starts with writing a story that can be based on real events or out of a writer’s imagination. Experimenting with different styles of writing, the authors tend to express their ideas about issues prevalent in society or educating masses in general. Storytelling has been an important tool for resistance and for great writers like Franz Kafka and Fyodor Dostoevsky, it is an act of catharsis. Story writing demands a great level of patience and the highest form of artistic creativity.

story writing

7 Different Types of Short Stories

If you have ever picked up a short story collection, you might have encountered a variety of strange words when skimming through the pages: flash fiction, micro-fiction, feghoot, sketch, vignette, fable, and anecdotes. These are all different types of short stories that are created in different ways. Prior to moving on, let us note that there is no specific definition for the terms used above. They are all colloquial and learned from experience.

Anecdote

A small, self-contained narrative usually detailing a brief episode or event. This term refers to the plot about something that happened to the author. For example, if you were bitten by a snake in India, and you wrote about it, this would be an anecdote.

Drabble

A long drabble can be several hundred words and may even reach novella size. However, the term is generally reserved for shorter works of 50 words or fearsome writing contests ask for drabbles as opposed to short stories because they do not take as much time or effort to write as longer pieces of work. A drabble may have any theme or plotline.

Fable

This type of short story has a moral at the end, showing how we should act in certain situationsThe word fable comes from Latin “fabula,” meaning “story.” Examples of fables would be The Tortoise and the Hare, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and The Ant

Vignette

A vignette is an impressionistic description of characters or places. It’s not supposed to have a beginning, middle, and end.

Sketch

A sketch is similar to a vignette, but it does have a plot. Both are written in only a few sentences and are intended to give the reader an idea about what happened in the past rather than tell a complete story. Sketch stories are a form of fictional writing that focus on a specific situation, event or theme that contain no character development and little to no plot development. Sketch stories usually center on a moment, a person or an action; they show the reader only what’s important to the story. A sketch story can also be told in pictures rather than words, which makes them more like comics, but they still rely on dialogue to express their theme or message.

Flash fiction or micro-fiction

A short story of 1000 words or less. It has been compared to poetry since it concentrates on one moment while using imagery and symbolism to evoke much larger ideas.

Feghoot

Is one of the most popular types of flash fiction to write and read on the internet. It gains its popularity because it’s quick and easy to write, but can still be funny and interesting! A Feghoot is based on an old joke called “The Feghoot”. For example, one might be about a warrior who meets an alien for the first time and says something like “Greetings strange creature! What is this thing on your head? Oh…It’s your face.”

How To Write a Captivating Story?

Depending on the type and the writer’s intent for telling a story, the structure of the tale can vary greatly. Be it a complex plot like Micheal Ondaatje’s English Patient or a simple narrative like that of Paulo Coelho’s Alchemist, techniques for writing a story depends on the style of a writer. People often ask questions about how they should begin a story, how to go about the conflict and conflict resolution, and how to conclude? All these questions can lead to ambiguous answers as it solely is the prerogative of a writer that which treatment he chooses for a story, but the basics of story writing remain the same. As you might already be aware, a story has five necessary elements in it which includes Characters, Setting, Plot, Conflict, and Resolution. Keeping these elements as a reference, let us discuss some tips to write a powerful story. 

Choosing a Character

The story begins with choosing a protagonist for your story. Before starting, you must once ask yourself how your story’s character is different than others. Had it not been for the strong character of the Joker in the Batman movie, it wouldn’t have reached this far. It is important that you imagine the character of your story as a real person, doing so would help you proceed and build a strong narrative. A character should have an ideology, a social identity, a set of traits and a motive also. The powerful story writing begins with a powerful character and thus, the character of your story needs to have a tale of its own besides being part of your plot. 

Selecting a Setting

Once you have established your protagonist, the next step is to think about where the story is based. If a writer fails to establish a strong connection between a protagonist and the story setting, it is likely to disappoint the readers. The motive of a good story writing is to keep a reader hooked until the end of it and that can be achieved only when the writer feeds readers with enough details to let them exercise their imagination. Use of literary tools like imagery comes into play while writing a setting for the story. Talking about small details like the expression while closing a door, the speed of walking, and the ambient sounds supplementing the scene helps a reader to be a part of the story. But while doing so, ensure that you are not forcing unnecessary information and losing the track of the story. 

Planning a Plot

Having a plot is central to story writing and choosing a character and a setting only supplements the overall narrative. If you are not sure about how your story will turn out to be, you don’t need to worry. If you have the basic idea of what you want it to be,  and how you want your readers to act upon it when they read it, that would suffice. Setting a motive for a story precedes planning the plot for it. The plot should not be hard to follow and details must not be forced into it. The more simple it is, the more beautiful it looks. It is advised not to rely on heavy vocabulary and Instead, simple words will keep your story smooth. 

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Creating Conflict

Conflict is a significant element in a story and the most engaging narratives have engaging conflicts. How you introduce it in your story is your choice but it should look as natural as possible. In some cases, it can come as a surprise and in others, it can be developed gradually. Whether evident or in a backdrop, running along with the story, conflict can be introduced in a number of ways but it is necessary that it should have a justification and should not look that it is imposed. The best story writing is when a conflict is evident only when a writer wants it to be rather than being visible beforehand. 

Reaching a Resolution

It is obvious that when you create a conflict in a story, you should come up with a resolution. The word ‘resolution’ does not necessarily mean having a happy ending. While some writers are known for leaving their stories ambiguous, the others, who have plans to bring a sequel, keep it in a continuation tone. The best story writing as per the renowned writers is the one that leaves the audience full of emotions and compels them to think rather than spoonfeeding an already concluded story to them. If you want your story to have a lasting impact, you should try a style of writing and a plot that seeks the reader’s participation. 

5 Secrets to Write Better Stories

Every day, thousands of stories are created. Blog posts, articles, tweets, and presentations are all part of the storytelling process. Yet many of these stories fail to engage audiences and achieve their goals. Here are some top secrets to writing better stories:

Just Start Writing

You might think that great stories begin with an idea, but that’s not actually the case. The best way to start a story is to begin writing. Just start typing. Don’t worry about what you’re going to say. Focus on your characters and the setting, and write down everything you know about them. Most stories are ones we’ve experienced before in real life, so make it as realistic as possible. If your protagonist is a man in his thirties who lives at home with his parents and works at a job he hates, then make him that type of person. The more realistic your story is, the more believable it will be for your readers.

Once you have a good idea of who your characters are, begin thinking about your plot. What problems does your character face? How does he or she solve them? You don’t need to know everything upfront, just develop one aspect of the plot at a time. After you’ve got that figured out, write about it. Then you can come back to it later and flesh out the rest of the story from there.

If you’re stuck on part of the plot, try asking yourself some questions: Why did this happen? How did this happen? If this happened then what would happen next?

Write in One Sitting

When you’re starting a new story, write down everything you know about your main character. Write down everything you want to happen to this character throughout the course of your story. Then — and this is important — figure out how you’re going to make it all happen. Everything that happens should be leading up to the climax of your story. If you can’t think of how something is going to lead up to the climax, go back and rewrite it.

Make Users Come First

This means that when you’re writing a blog post or developing a presentation, you have to remember who you’re talking to or writing for. If it’s a blog post, ask yourself if it’s something that would interest your readers or pertain to them in some way. If not, take another approach with your topic. When developing presentations and other similar pieces, think about if they’re actually helping.

Create Stories Collaboratively

When you write stories collaboratively, you are improving as a team, developing stronger relationships, and sharing knowledge. This leads to stronger outcomes for everyone involved. Show, Don’t Tell. To describe something, use actions and dialogue rather than words like “he was sad” or “she was angry” or “the weather was terrible”. 

Add Acceptance Criteria

If you can’t measure it, how do you know it works? Add specific measurable goals to your story so you can better track its success down the line.

What Not to Do

Don’t use the first person (“I”) in a story. It’s best to write about something other than yourself, and using the first person will distance the reader from your piece. Also, don’t get too personal; readers are interested in what you have to say, not necessarily about your life.

Don’t use passive voice. The passive voice is when the subject of a sentence or phrase is acted upon by another verb- it typically doesn’t show who is doing the action. For example: “The car was driven by John.” This sentence can be turned into an active one by adding a subject: “John drove the car.” Active sentences sound more interesting and alive, while passive sentences can make writing dull and lifeless.

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Story writing is an art form that comes under Creative Writing. If you are aspiring to become a storyteller and turn your stories into bestsellers then we at Leverage Edu can help you get admission to top schools where you can find a company of storytellers from across the world. 

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