10 Quick Tips: StorytellingFor those with high-powered jobs, demanding pets, or other drains on your valuable time: here is a quick, ten-point tutorial for better storytelling.10 Quick Tips: Storytelling4 years ago in Writing More Like This
The points are drawn from books, articles, casually-offered-advice and my own experience. Much like the Ten Commandments, they aren't all concrete rules. Just things to strongly keep in mind.
1. Show, don't tell.
-> Don't tell us that elves are disliked. Show us the disgust on people's faces when one appears.
-> But sometimes it is quicker just to tell. Watch out for those times.
2. Dramatise more.
-> Don't give the reader overviews. Pick out scenes and dramatise them.
-> Narrators explaining things is boring. Characters doing things is exciting.
3. The protagonist drives the story.
-> They're the decision-maker, not a parcel to be carried around.
-> Stories are about the hero doing things, not just having things done to them.
4. Every scene has a purpose.
10Q Writers' Tutorial: SettingTen Easy Questions to Fix Your Fantasy Setting10Q Writers' Tutorial: Setting4 years ago in Writing More Like This
(may also work for sci-fi)
A fantasy story has to take place somewhere. And what better surroundings for your epic/tragic/blood-thirsty tale of war/love/orc-beauty-pageants than your mystical land of Neverheardofit?
Imagine it! The ragged mountains clad in purple fog. The bubbling streams sparkling with fairy magic. The sleepy-eyed dragons emerging from their noble lairs, their flickering tongues tasting the sweetness of battle in the air.
(Or just some spaceships and laser guns. This is a sci-fi tutorial too.)
You can certainly feel the magic (or techno-awesome) but, for some reason, your readers just aren't getting it. They keep asking awkward questions or, worse than that, not reading further than the first chapter.
You could give up in despair: A tragic artist, never to be understood.
Or you could try this simple little Ten Question Tutorial. It can't hurt,