How to tell a great story when writing articles, blog posts, and other non-fiction

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People are drawn to great stories. Who doesn’t like reading a great novel? But you can – and should – tell compelling stories when writing articles, blog posts, case studies, and non-fiction books.

Keys to telling a good story

According to Wes Kao, there are five keys to telling a good story. He dissects a story to identify those elements, which include:

  1. Focus on the reader so that they can envision themselves in the story.
  2. Build trust with the reader so that they feel understood.
  3. Use words that make the reader feel something.
  4. Create space for the reader to fill in the blank.
  5. Create a visual to set the scene.

Non-fiction writing techniques for captivating readers

Want to make sure your next work of non-fiction is non-boring? Check out Alexander Limberg’s post in The Write Life for five nonfiction writing techniques that will captivate readers, which include:

  1. Tell a memorable story, which will have more impact than facts, formulas or concepts.
  2. Bait your audience – begin with a personal story, ask a question, or start with an interesting or funny thought.
  3. Use emotionally charged language and words to create a reaction.
  4. Say it simply – break down ideas in digestible bites and simplify the language.
  5. Surprise the reader by being imaginative and creative where it is not expected.

Write like Anthony Bourdain

I’m currently reading Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, which is a fantastic book. He’s an amazing writer, and I will probably pick up his other books as well. Daniel Marriott provides five tips for writing like Anthony Bourdain, which include:

  1. Start with a bang – grab the reader’s attention from the first sentence.
  2. Speak in your own voice, and write how you feel.
  3. Keep it simple (again!) and do not overcomplicate things.
  4. Say what you feel, and show your passion.
  5. Give readers something to digest – teach and share knowledge.

Need help with writing articles, blog posts, case studies, white papers or website content? Let me know –


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