six tips for make good stories
To be honest, we want things quick and the quickest way to gain information is by having it in lists. I’ve been meaning to write this post all week but I’ve been too busy to do so. Now I’m not, so here we go.
1. Tension: All stories need tension. It’s tension that keeps the reader reading. Tension doesn’t necessarily mean that the hero must have a gun pointed at his/her head every time you break. It just means the reader is asking constantly, “But what about this?” “HOw will he/her react to this?” So long as you always leave a question, you always have tension. However, the true skill is when the reader asks the question that the writer has never written down for them to ask.
2. Action: This kinda goes along with tension except on a different level. It’s one thing to have constant questions bouncing around constantly. It’s quite another to have the character do something about it. So make sure your characters DO something.
3. 3-Dimensional characters: Characters have to make sense to the reader. Meaning you, the writer, have to listen to them. I’ve written several posts on good chararacters in Five parts to any Character, More on Creating Good Characters and Character Weaknesses.
4. A convincing plot: Some, very famous authors can convince readers to suspend logic when reading a book. However, unless you’re writing humor, it’s probably safer to have everything make sense. (What I’m thinking about right now is when I decided to change a character from a naive good person to a greedy scheming individual.
5. just Enough: I admit, this tip will be of no help. However, all stories need a balance. Few people want to read stories about brains constantly being splattered on the wall. Few people want to read stories about people constantly having sex. Few people want to read stories about people constantly fighting, constantly running, constantly going to the bathroom, ect. Everything needs a balance and you don’t need to show us every little nasty thing the person does. So the guy has some anger management issues. But maybe we get the point after the second time he blows up for something small, and a few comments about him going to anger management class (again) and his girlfriend leaving him because she’s tired of him blowing up at him. We don’t want to know this after he’s blow up in every scene from page 1 to page 150.
6. Stop at the End: I know that this seems obvious to some people, but stories need to stop at the end of the story and sometimes, especially for new writers, that’s difficult to find. Don’t drag out the ending just because you don’t want the story to finish. My sister keeps asking me if these two characters at the end of Shad ever get married. My answer is I don’t know. That wasn’t the story of Shad. Shad’s story is him getting off the ship. So I don’t need to tell anyone that he stayed at that job for ten years, made it significantly safer, married Kayla, had five kids, and his rules became the guidelines of all mines across the galaxy. So stop when you’re done.