“We are all storytellers. We all live in a network of stories. There isn’t a stronger connection between people than storytelling.” Stories and an essential part is woven into the history of our times. Let us learn some basics about story writing.
A story is basically a narrating of real or imaginary events, involving real or imaginary people. A story needs to be represented in words necessarily. Even images or moving pictures (movies) can narrate a story. A story is generally designed to entertain, and/or send a message across.
The length of a written story will depend on the format, whether it is a novel, novella, short story etc. The length of a story has no bearing to its quality. Take for example the famous writer Ernest Hemingway. He was once challenged that he could not write a story in six words. But he delivered his story: “For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn”.
We will be focusing on the shorter format of the story and will take a look at the basic structure of the story, as well as some points to keep in mind.
Structure/Format of a Story
While there is no given format as such for story writing, there is a basic structure one can follow. It helps construct a story in an understandable manner and keeps the flow of the story.
- Beginning: The beginning or the introduction of a story is of essential importance. This is the part where you can hook the reader and capture their attention. You must have come across some often used beginnings to stories like, “Once upon a time” or “A long time ago”. However, you can get more creative and begin your story with intrigue.
- Character Introduction: Your story will depend heavily on how well you write your characters. To develop your characters, you can use dialogues as well. But you want to keep the dialogues limited in the shorter format. Also, do not include unnecessary secondary characters, every character of the story must have a purpose.
- Plot: Here is where the actual narration of the story will happen. The events that occur or the description of the situation will be written in the plot. A plot must always have a conflict, which is the focus of any story.
- Climax/Conclusion: And this is where the story will come to its logical conclusion. If there is a plot twist, this is where you will include it. Always end your story in an interesting manner. Also, it is not necessary to give your story a definite ending. A cliffhanger is another effective tactic.
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Some Points to Keep in Mind
- Make sure you give your story an exciting and appropriate title. A title is the first impression you made on the reader.
- Make sure that the facts you include in your story are accurate. You can take creative license while writing your story, but do not change universally accepted truths and facts.
- The story must flow fluently. If there is a series of events taking place, make sure the flow has some order. The reader must not be confused.
- Do not use very flowery language or overuse complicated words. The best stories are written in uncomplicated verse, so as not to distract from the plot.
Solved Question for You
Q: Why writer’s given advice “show, don’t tell”?
Ans: It is a very important advice when writing any story, to show the proceedings and situation instead of just informing the reader. Readers will experience the story more emotionally when presented with sensory details than just a summary of information.