Posts

Showing posts from May, 2019

Storytelling Techniques – Using Fact with Fiction

While fictional stories are just that – fictitious – there’s one thing they rely on in order to help them convince the reader that the story feels real, and that is facts. Whether it’s thriller, crime, romance or a historical novel – facts make a difference to the overall enjoyment of a book. It lends to its realism.
Facts provide extra layers to your description and dialogue; the more descriptive layers you have, the better experience for the reader. That doesn’t mean you have top overload the story with every single fact you can find, but rather it’s down to the subtle snippets of information you weave into the story. 
We’re always told to ‘write what we know’ – so if you’re a photographer, you could use this in a story, or perhaps you are a nurse, so your medical background knowledge is very handy or maybe you’re a mechanic and you make your protagonist a mechanic...it’s all knowledge and skills you can and should use, but sometimes what we know isn’t always accurate, and often with …

Storytelling Techniques - Description that Appeals to the Senses

Editors talk a lot about description in fiction, and one of the things I often see when editing other writers is the lack of description, or if there is some, it’s too weak to make the story as effective as it should. Writers tend to be very good at it, or pretty bad. Description shouldn’t be confused with narrative, which is the expositional bit of writing woven between the dialogue and the active descriptions. Any good story isn’t effective without great description – it’s a clever way to involve the reader, to help them imagine themselves within the story, with the characters, to show them action, drama, tension, atmosphere, mood and, importantly, emotion and conflict. It places the reader within that setting, that moment; it makes the story feel real. And the best way to do this is to write description that appeals to the reader’s senses, engages them, thrills them and takes them on an emotional journey. It’s sensory description. Well written description utilises the senses to cr…

Storytelling Techniques - Layered Conflict

Never underestimate the power of conflict. Without it, stories wouldn’t exist. No matter what the story is, your characters will disagree over things, dislike one another, argue, fight, hate antagonists, dislike themselves or situations they’re created or found themselves caught in, or disagree with things around them. This is exactly what happens in real life. Such conflict makes life interesting, exciting, crazy, frustrating and, at times, hard. That’s because conflict creates all manner of emotions, which forms an essential ingredient in fiction and pushes the story forward to its conclusion. Layered conflict is what it says – it’s a way for the writer to add layers of conflict throughout the story. This builds the drama and tension until the story reaches its conclusion.But conflict comes in different ways. Characters can come into conflict with other characters, they can come into conflict with their environment and they can come into conflict with themselves. Often writers think tha…