Writing a good story is a tricky task. One is always unsure about what to include, what to delete, how to develop characters, and so on. The major challenge always is to keep the reader engaged. Here are a few tips that you should remember while writing a story that will make sure that the reader remains engrossed.
Start from the middle
It interests people more. If you go along with the ‘once upon a time’ concept, the reader might lose interest quickly. But if you start with a potential cliffhanger, then you will definitely induce curiosity. The more ambiguity you incorporate, the more engaged a reader will be. The baseline is, a reader always loves surprises.
Don’t start with a long introduction about the characters or their lives. Start with a sentence that suggests a big or significant event, and the reader would then want to read further to discover the causes and consequences of those events. Similarly, feel free to not conclude your story in a conventional manner, and leave it on an unsure note, open for interpretations. An open ending leaves the reader thinking about the story even after completing it, which makes the writer successful in their job.
Don’t overdo the explanations
When including significant happenings in the story, don’t explain the consequences too much, as the reader is smart enough to discern it. Moreover, without proper justifications, the reader tends to interpret the incidents in relation to their own lives and thus becomes personally connected to the story. How you write is as important as what you write. Aim to make a relatively less exciting situation seem extremely interesting by making the character experiencing it feel anxious or restless or elated so that the reader perceives the actual impact of the situation.
Avoid throwing in too many names
If you start your first page with ten different names, it becomes difficult for the reader to keep up, and they might jumble up the characters later in the story. They might seem lost and can lose interest in reading further. Introduce your characters gradually and give each of them a specific trait which makes them distinguishable from others. This way, you will get more room for the development of your characters.
Don’t go overboard with the verbiage
A few poetic elements sound good when writing prose, but using it unnecessarily will only make your story seem lousy. The reader wants to know what happens next, and not linger on a single situation too much. Use it only when it’s needed, for example, during an introspective episode of a character, or while writing a significant incident in the story, for the character notices details of their surroundings during such incidents only. Otherwise, use a relatively less fancy language and include more content and a strong plot in your writing.
Be passionate about what you write
If you don’t believe in what you write, you can’t expect the reader to do so. When making up a character, consider them a real person, and make their life your own. When describing the feelings of a character, express your own. Be as personally connected to their world as you can so that the reader will empathize with them. Be vulnerable. The more real you believe your story to be, the more the reader would be engaged in it.
Involve the reader in the story
Give them room for interpretations and a reaction for each incident. Make your character controversial so that they read further to decipher them. The reader will be as engaged in your story as you are, so write like you would tell the story to a friend. Curiosity is an important element. Keep the reader anticipating for more. Make them want to keep reading the next line until they reach the end. Include interesting elements throughout the whole story to avoid mundane moments
Edit, edit, edit!
Do not be afraid of deleting lines or even entire paragraphs from your story if it makes the latter better. Include only whatever’s necessary. Do not worry about the quantity, but only the quality. Great writers like Albert Camus follow this rule, which is an important aspect of their writings. Read your story over and over and edit it every time until it is concise as well as satisfactorily informative. Give as much time and effort to editing as you did to write it in the first place.
These are some tips to help you improve your story writing abilities and make your stories more interesting. Apart from these, you must enjoy what you write and live it. That is the real purpose of writing.