Dear budding author/writer, to write a good story is to master the act of writing. The act of writing and reading are intertwined. In other words, every piece of writing has only one purpose: to be read. The reason I am writing this article is for it to be read. So, permit me to say, “Writing is reading. A good writer is a good reader”.
Tips on How to Write a Story that Would Be Read
Don’t limit yourself by writing just anything for writing’s sake. Have a vision of your story being read across the world. This will help you in the face of any challenge that may arise. You can pick one or two flourishing writers as your model. Read about them. Learn and be motivated by their work.
Norms can be boring most times. Most best-selling writers do not stick to the norm. Even when they write on common themes, they are creative. I have read some books in the past by different authors with the same storyline, plot, theme and setting. Except of course the characters, title and diction. How boring is that? Writing a unique story can be quite tedious at first. You need to put in a lot of work and that includes a lot of reading too. Trust me, at the end of the day it will pay off.
Choose simple diction
Right now, we live in a world where reading is fast going into extinction. You don’t want to write a story people can’t read and understand without the constant use of a dictionary. If they have to consult the dictionary at every line as though they were learning a new language, then you might just want to turn from being a storyteller to a vocabulary developer. Do not use any word you are not familiar with or can’t pronounce well. If you have to use them, then get familiar with the usage and pronunciation. Imagine being called upon for your book reading and you flop.
Prepare for the death of the author
According to Roland Barthes, the phrase “death of the author” refers to the idea that, during reading, meaning is formed actively as opposed to passively. It is not something that is derived after having been present the entire time. Thus, reading becomes its own form of writing, superseding the original writing in the process.
This simply means that as an author you do not have power over the meanings formed from your work after it is published.
As a result, you shouldn’t write a story only from the perspective of a writer or an author. Be creative enough to judge your work from the angle of a reader. Create scenarios. Ask yourself and others questions about your writing. If they can’t relate or they have something to say about it, then you might want to check out your work.
Readers should be able to see beyond your ideas, suggestions and thoughts. This will make them want to review, talk and recommend your work whenever they have the chance – thereby promoting your work. Mind you, if your story is shallow and lacks creativity they would be confined to only your ideas. And that’s boring.
Be open to constructive criticism and editing
This process is like gold passing through fire and coming out refined. You should allow your work to be criticised and edited by people who have expertise in the field. Let your creativity meet with their professionalism. This will make you a professional and good story writer.
Broadcast your work
The act of writing and reading are intertwined. It is one thing for you to write a story, it is another for readers to have access to it. After you have published your story (soft copy or hard copy), do not be ashamed to tell the world about it. Thanks to social media, you can reach out to many people. Tell them about your story. Bring out catchy excerpts from it. Do not be too concerned about profit just yet. Be concerned about getting more readers. Get their reviews. Volunteer to read your story at relevant social gatherings. This will make interested readers aware of your story. A story or any written piece is meant to be read.
Ajimuda Evelyn Temitayo is a writer, poet and blogger. She is a creative who brings imaginations alive.