Telling the Story
Make the point of your story clear. Don’t hem and haw. Don’t be vague. Say what you have to say and in words that you’d normally say them in. It’s fine to tease the reader, to lead them in a different direction, this is called a twist, but always lead them back in the right direction.
Relatable. When writing your story your reader will connect with the story better if it relates to them in some way. Everybody has an obnoxious little brother/sister, nephew/niece, cousin or friend’s kid. Tap into that kid with a memory of your own obnoxious child.
Keep the words tight. Avoid adjectives and adverbs at all costs. Get rid of them! They’re not needed. They’re just fluff and filler.
Example: Janice sighed, exhausted. She’d just put in an incredibly long ten-hour day and was looking forward to kicking off her expensive Prada shoes and letting her silky long hair flow over her slender shoulders, while sipping a glass of wine.
Whew…I’m exhausted just writing this.
Here’s another way to write it:
Janice sighed. She’d just put in a ten-hour day and she was looking forward to kicking off her Prada shoes and relaxing with a glass of wine.
Exhausted…you don’t need to tell the reader this, anyone who’s ever worked a ten-hour day knows just how exhausting it is.
Incredibly and long…you know it’s incredibly long because it’s a ten-hour day.
Letting her silky, blonde hair flow over her slender shoulders…does this add anything to the paragraph? No, this is what is meant by fluff. If her hair was black or her shoulders round, would that change how Janice feels? No, because the paragraph is about feeling and doing, not how a person looks.
Expensive…everyone knows that Prada…anything…is expensive, unnecessary filler.
Above anything else…show…don’t tell! Nobody wants to read a three-page description of a room or a lengthy detailed essay on how blue someone’s eyes are. Get to point and get on with the story.
I welcome all comments and suggestions.
To read my own memory stories...Click on the Books tab.