Every story is different, and every writer has his own take on the classic tale. But what never changes is what brings a story to life — the key ingredients that contribute to every successful story or novel.
It goes without saying that an original, interesting story is the cornerstone of any winning novel; however, how you bring that story to life is just as important as your idea. Here, we’ll discuss five of the most vital elements to telling a compelling story.
- Complex Characters: Your protagonist, or hero, most effectively touches a chord in people when he/she is a multifaceted person. No human being is all good or all bad; even the “good guys” have flaws. If you can depict facets of your protagonist that resonate with your readers — while keeping the character the likable sort they’ll still want to root for — they’ll be hooked.
- Conflict: In most successful books, there is some inciting incident that launches the action into full-swing. Whether it’s a murder, a sexual affair, an emotional breakdown or a horrible accident, the inciting incident is a dramatic event that compels the reader to read on.
- Emotional Core: Readers want to feel something. Play to this desire by exploring the characters’ emotions, or putting them into situations in which the average reader can imagine their own reactions.
- Transformation: The best stories result in transformation of some kind. At the very least, the settings is altered, but often it’s the main characters who undergo irreparable changes. And, in the most powerful tales, it’s the reader who ends up transformed in some why by making a great journey with these characters.
- Resolution: A story is most satisfying when it ends with a definitive resolution. The hero gets the girl; the detective solves the case; the bad guy gets his just desserts. In other words, the story is wrapped up in some way. This doesn’t mean your story has to have a standard “Hollywood ending.” Perhaps the guy doesn’t get the girl, but gains something greater instead. Or the villain gets away, but his potential victims are safe — at least until the second book hits the stands.
Any book that meets these essential elements is well on its way to winning readers’ hearts.
Do you have a compelling story, but aren’t sure how to bring it to life? Let Outskirts Press show you how to use ghostwriting to get your book on the fast track!