The professor announces a writing task and you immediately open your assignments tab to read the rubric. You see the required page numbers, the prompt and the expectations. Ideas start flowing through your head, and you take it point by point to ensure you are fulfilling the requirements set to receive that A. But have you ever sat down with a blank sheet of paper, no rubric, no assignment, and just put your imagination onto paper?
We go and go until we can not write assigned papers anymore, but I challenge you to find time to let your mind explore and build a creative story. Ideally, you would just start writing whatever pops into your head, but for my friends who need some guidance, here are a few principles to keep in mind to create a story to share with all.
1. Keep It Simple: That is it. Do not overthink it.
2. Rule of Threes: Listing or describing features in threes creates patterns in the audience’s mind, while not overwhelming with variety or not explaining with too little.
3. Trust the Audience: Allow your audience creative freedom to visualize the scene you are setting without expressing every detail that you may be thinking. For example, if you say there is a fire, let them envision the burning flames and the smoke, avoid stating “there were flames and smoke.” The audience will understand the natural attributes that are associated with certain situations, so let those attributes speak for themselves.
4. Everyone Loves Surprises: Try to avoid telling the whole story in the first few sentences. Try to leave a plot twist for the middle of the story to keep the audience engaged and to keep the story memorable and exciting.
5. Create a Sense of Wonder: Withhold enough details to allow your audience to finish the story with wonder and questions. Facts are important, but if you want someone to remember the story, they will remember the version they interpreted while reading. So embrace this, and add it into the story as you write to create a feeling of wonder and to encourage imagination.
6. End the Story how it Started: When wrapping up your story, remind the audience how it began. Create a sandwich of details, with the bread being the beginning and end, similar but not exactly the same. Creating a loop back to the beginning will help the audience piece everything together, and will remind them of the excitement, the details and the vision that they developed throughout the story.
7. Power of the Last Line: The last line is the most important part of the entire story. It is what the audience will walk away remembering, and will create the lasting impression of fulfillment and amazement every writer wants for their readers.
Get to Writing! Principles Source: Nigel Robertson
Written by: Ashley Jones