Top Tip 6

Make your story a good read

Here are 5 tips for making your story a good read:

KEEP IT FOCUSED: Consider having just one main character and writing the story from that person’s point of view – keep asking yourself how it looks through this character’s eyes and don’t include anything that your character can’t see or sense. This will keep your story tight and focused. 

USE THE SENSES: Don’t just think in terms of what things look like. Don’t forget the other senses, the clatter of hooves, the smell of fresh hay or new-mown grass, the melt-in-the-mouth taste of home-baked pastry and so on. 

Did you know that people have more than a dozen senses? I don’t advise you to try and get them all into a short story; just remember that description is not just a matter of what you can see. 

BE CAREFUL WITH DETAIL: Remember that you are not writing an instruction manual. Don’t go overboard with too much detail. Why not? Check out the examples in Top Tip 7.

ADD A TOUCH OF DRAMA: What is it that makes an interesting story? It’s a touch of drama, something to pique the reader’s curiosity. Give your character a problem and the reader will want to know how things turn out. What sort of problem? Take a look at the examples in Top Tip 7.

TAKE CARE WITH SPEECH: Be careful about what your characters say, and don’t give them huge speeches to say as though they are addressing a formal conference.

You will find worked examples to demonstrate these points in the final Top Tip.