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:
- Focus on the reader so that they can envision themselves in the story.
- Build trust with the reader so that they feel understood.
- Use words that make the reader feel something.
- Create space for the reader to fill in the blank.
- 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:
- Tell a memorable story, which will have more impact than facts, formulas or concepts.
- Bait your audience – begin with a personal story, ask a question, or start with an interesting or funny thought.
- Use emotionally charged language and words to create a reaction.
- Say it simply – break down ideas in digestible bites and simplify the language.
- 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:
- Start with a bang – grab the reader’s attention from the first sentence.
- Speak in your own voice, and write how you feel.
- Keep it simple (again!) and do not overcomplicate things.
- Say what you feel, and show your passion.
- Give readers something to digest – teach and share knowledge.
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