Being a trustworthy storyteller is a very useful skill, and not only in your everyday life. It can stand you in a good stead when your inspiration deigns to visit your humble dwelling (house, office) and work a little bit on your piece of writing. However, such skill is also necessary when you realize that your inspiration is very far from where you are at the moment, and that you must go without it counting on your own strengths.
So, what do you need to survive without what we call a muse? Or, to be more precise, what can interest this spirit (or whatever you call it) in your performance so much, that it will come to see what on earth you are doing? Here we are to find the answer!
Who (or What) Is the Hero?
You see, the thing is that actually every story has its main character. Even when you are just describing a landscape, there is a protagonist in your description. This protagonist is you. It is you who was impressed by a certain picture, so you are describing your vision and your emotions. In this case you need to be more careful, because your audience may not understand or agree with you.
On the other hand, when you want to tell about particular someone or something, the risk that readers will not understand your character is lower, because they can recognize a person/people they know or even themselves. And this is what makes your story valuable. When your audience understand or want to try to understand your characters, your work is destined for success.
What Are the Settings?
Yes, at first it may seem that you must always think about certain time and place when writing a story. Both these elements are desirable, but not that compulsory (unless you are writing a historical report). You can come up with original settings using tiny details. A simple word, a small thing, a frequent image, just anything can help you create an atmosphere you need. But if you want your style to look really beautiful, you need to hide these details between the lines of the story but help your reader find them.
What Is the Problem?
You need to think about it before and while you are writing. If you do not like the word “problem”, you can change it with “purpose” or “reason”. It is not necessary to tell your reader about it, but it is what you should always keep in mind. Ask yourself why you are writing and what reaction you expect. Even if you believe that it all is just for fun, still this is a certain though maybe latent reason.
To some extent, it can be considered a framework of your story. Your problem or purpose motivates you to write although sometimes its power gets weaker, and either does your wish to continue. This may be the sign of your tiredness and need to get a new portion of impressions or knowledge in order to finish the work.
Why Should Your Reader Care?
Not because something is important, or painful, or helpful (underline what applicable) to you. This something must be significant to your reader. For a banal reason: just because he or she is a human just like you, and may face or have faced the same issue. This is what exactly you should prove. Readers want to understand not only why you tell your story, but also why it can be interesting for them.
What If You Are Writing About … Yourself?
Go true but original. And watch the style. If you are applying for a job or some study program, you should be brief and rather formal. Of course, when it is your autobiography or diary, you are more free to choose what you want to tell about and the means you want to do it with. Just remember that it is always more pleasant to read the story which intersects with real-life human experience, so familiar and understandable for mere mortals.
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