The world’s greatest stories are born from the best of the human imagination, writes author Mark Manson.
“When I tell a story, I don’t care what happens next, I just want it to be compelling,” he tells National Geographic.
But writing is an art and there are a lot of different ways to get there.
In this article, we’re going to break down a few of the best writing techniques to create the best stories.
Use an overarching theme or theme theme of a larger story.
The most popular theme in literature is often a larger narrative that ties in to a larger theme of the story.
“You can use themes of time or space or the landscape to tell a larger, overarching story,” says Manson.
He recommends that you write your story as a whole, rather than in a specific order.
Use the concept of the character as a guide.
If you have a character in the story, then you need to use that as a starting point.
“The main character is the anchor, the point of connection, to the story,” Manson says.
“So if the main character doesn’t make the most sense as the central point of the narrative, you’ll lose the story.”
Find the right audience.
If the main focus of the book is a specific audience, it might be best to start with a small group.
But Manson says it’s also possible to focus on a broader audience by writing a story that includes people from different backgrounds.
Make the reader feel connected to the characters.
The character’s feelings are key to a great story.
To create the right feeling for your reader, Manson says, “Make it as authentic as possible, so that you feel like they’re experiencing it for themselves.”
Choose a strong character.
“One of the great things about a good story is that it can’t be too complicated, so it doesn’t feel forced,” Manson said.
“It can be very compelling and exciting if you make the reader really feel as though they’re involved in the journey of the protagonist.”
Be clear about what you want to accomplish.
“If you’re writing about a story where the main goal is to understand something, and you’re trying to do it with as little text as possible,” Manson adds, “then you can get away with not really thinking about the story at all.
But when you’re creating a story with a bigger focus on the character, that’s when you should start thinking about that.”
Use a story structure.
“I really like to write stories that are structured in this way, and then they’re a story,” he says.
For example, in the “The End of the World” series, he says, he starts by giving the reader the basic premise of a story: “The end of the world.”
“Then he has a lot more structure to the narrative in the second half of the novel where he’s sort of explaining that to the reader.
It’s very important to have a good structure in your stories.
It makes them feel very solid and real.”
Use background elements to create a feeling of mystery.
You can do this by using the characters as background to create suspense, and the environment as background for the characters to have more of a sense of adventure.
“There are a number of things that people say about writing that’s not always true,” Manson explains.
“They think you have to put in an elaborate plot to create that suspenseful feeling.
But I really think the best way to create mystery is to give the reader some of the characters background and make them feel like it’s an experience.”
Use plot structure to build tension.
Manson says that you can use the plot structure of your story to create tension, and to give readers a sense that something is coming.
“Once you have the structure of the plot, you can then tell the story in a way that feels satisfying,” he explains.
Choose the right setting.
You may find it easier to create an atmosphere and setting than to use an established plot.
“For example, if you’re setting your story in the 1950s, it’s really easy to do this,” Manson continues.
“But when you start looking at a modern setting, it can be hard to tell the reader that the setting is an ideal setting for this story.”
If you want a more modern setting for your story, Manson recommends choosing a setting that has “realistic” or “silly” characteristics.
“And then you have this sort of feeling of adventure, of adventure and excitement,” he adds.
“We all know adventure and wonder is one of the main elements of modern fiction.
So when you find a setting with a combination of those two things, it gives the reader a sense they’re being transported to a world they haven’t been to before.”
Create a strong, memorable character.
There’s nothing more powerful than a great, memorable, and memorable character, Manson said, and he suggests that you start with someone who