How to write a story

There are those who say that the story is one of the most difficult literary forms, and I have always asked myself the reason for this conviction, since it seems to me one of the most spontaneous and fundamental ways of human expression. After all, one begins to listen and tell stories from an early age, without finding anything particularly complicated. I suspect that many of you tell stories from a lifetime, yet here you are sitting, all eager to know how to do it. “
Flannery O’Connor

The synthesis is an indication of genius. Writing short stories means being able to move in a limited space; to know how to tell a story in the most concise way possible; be able to attract the reader in a click – if not in a few lines. There are stories that remain in the hearts of readers forever, while many novels fade into thin air. In a short story, the skill lies in seeing relationships where they do not yet exist. 

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A story is a story that is told quickly and accurately; with a limited number of words and consequent images; with a few characters but unforgettable.

The famous quote by Gustave Flaubert: “Writing is a way of life” can be paraphrased in Writing is a way of reading. There is no other rule to write a good story than to read many (good). To you the choice. Among the many short story writers we advise you to read the ones you prefer. Ours are: Edgar Alan Poe, Flannery O’Connor, Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, Alice Munro, John Cheever, Anton Chekhov, Joyce Carol Oates and, to stay in Italy: Goffredo Parise, Tommaso Landolfi, Dino Buzzati, Italo Calvino, Stefano Benni and many others …

PART I Writing Tips

The coat is a story by the Russian writer Nikolai V. Gogol ‘who has as its protagonist a zealous employee, an alienated, who finds social benefit from the purchase of a coat. When he is robbed of the precious garment, depressed and sick, he dies. From that day on, his ghost wanders through the streets of Petersburg to rob the passers-by of their coats.

What does the Gogol coat have in this context? It got to do. We all came out of The Coat. His story shows that in a story the idea is everything. The idea understood as intuition. As a detail that makes that story more interesting than another. Only. 
You will not describe the emotions, the state of mind, the psychological condition of your characters through the use of banal expressions such as “was poor and sad”, “he suffered excruciatingly” and so on. Materialize them, condensate them into a detail instead and fill it with meaning. What are you doing this way? Nothing but a kind of metaphor that makes your story less obvious: you are using one of the most effective narrative tools, the “objective correlative”.

Be careful though. Do not abuse this expedient and carefully consider when and how to use it. 
The idea in a story must raise questions that (do not) always need answers. It must be a questioning idea, a dialogue with the reader. Before starting to write, look at what is around you. Or dug into memory. Find the detail, your unconfessable obsession. View the story before giving it a written form. Like poetry, the story requires discipline and rigor. Do not be in a hurry. If she’s usually a bad advisor, she’s certainly a bad writer. Time is the best writer to the point that he must become your favorite writer. 
In short: 
1)Before writing a story, look for that detail that starts the story as close as possible to the turning point or its climax. 
2) The first sentence is of fundamental importance, it must arrive with an energy impulse. The reader should not be able to stop reading.

How to write a really effective article

# 1: How to write an effective article? Before starting…

The main thing that you have to do before writing the very first article of your blog is to know who you are writing to . It is in fact unthinkable to be able to have a successful blog if your only purpose is to write just for yourself.

To understand what it takes to know your audience.

I’ll give you a concrete example .

Let’s say that you want to explain a rule of Italian grammar: why before -be of -p it takes me not the n (as in the word child or field )?

I could tell you that Mrs. N worked for two gentlemen, B and P, who were very demanding. Since Mrs. N had only two legs, she could not fulfill all the demands of B and P and was fired. In his place was taken mrs. M, who had three legs was much faster and could satisfy the lords. Since then, m remained always with B and with P.

Or I could explain to you that the origin of this rule is of phonoglottological derivation: pronouncing a nasal sound followed immediately by a labial sound without interruption of air between the two phons, the movement of approach of the lips following the nasal sound results in the formation natural sound [m].

The first explanation is what my teacher taught me in third grade, a story that would bore anyone over 7 years of age.

The second explanation, on the other hand, is a memo from a university language course in glottology and probably would not help many people who did not do linguistic studies to understand the rule.

Why did I tell you this story?

We are certainly not here to study Italian linguistics.

I told you this for a specific reason:

to show you that knowing those you are addressing to is of vital importance to know exactly how to tell something and how to choose the words to use.

If you do not know who will read your blog, how can you claim to be able to present the right topics that can really interest, choose the most appropriate language or even effectively present your products and services?

Each of us likes to read something personalized, something written exactly for us, something that solves our specific problem.

And if you can not address your reader exactly, you’ll never be able to capture his attention .

For this to write an effective article it is essential to create an identikit of your ideal reader.

  • How old is he?
  • Is it a boy or a girl?
  • Where do you live?
  • What are your wishes? What are your fears?
  • What are your problems?
  • What do you search online to try to solve your problems?

Answer these questions in writing, create a more or less detailed identikit of your type reader and give them a name.

Whenever you write an article, remember that you will have to address exactly this avatar you have created, to this person-type.

Secondly, but not least, you must always be well aware of the purpose of your article:

Sell ​​an infoprodotto ? Sell ​​a service? Get you know? Increase subscribers to your newsletter?

Whatever your purpose, your article will have to be the vehicle towards your goal.

And if you know your audience deeply, it will not be too difficult to reach.

How? Now I’ll explain it better.

# 2: Content is King … but is it enough?

Content is King. I guess you’ve heard this phrase thousands of times. But what does it really mean?

Nowadays we find ourselves bombarded with information: articles, news, banner ads everywhere.

How can we therefore be sure that our article will actually be read in this jungle of knowledge?

The secret – they say – is to write contents of great value .

But is it really enough?

I assure you no. Only content that is an end in itself is not enough .

Offering value is certainly essential to gain the trust and attention of your audience, but there are several other factors that you need to keep in mind if you want to get a really winning article.

Remember: it is useless to create valuable articles if nobody comes to your site. It is useless to create articles of value if the graphics of your blog makes everything illegible.

So let’s see now the basic points you need to know to write an article that really becomes the King of this jungle.

1. Make reading less difficult

Screen reading is much slower and more tiring than writing on paper. This is because the image of the monitor is not stable but is continuously updated and the light emission of the screen on which one reads inevitably tends to strain the eyes.

For this reason it is very important that when you write your articles you help the reader to orient himself in the text .

This can be done through some precautions.

Here are the main ones:

  • Subdivide the text into paragraphs that are not too long and give each one an explanatory title. Being in front of a wall of text, in fact, can make you want to read even before starting. Leave a fairly wide line (eg 1.5) and do not justify the text but prefer a flag orientation, as in the second image.
  • Use bulleted and numbered lists, just like I am doing right now.
  • Help reading using explanatory and summarizing images, diagrams and infographics of the text you wrote.
  • Prediligi a readable font and without thanks (thanks are those dashes at the ends of the letters in the font such as the Times New Roman). The characters with the graces, in fact, are more suitable for reading on paper; those without graces are instead indicated for reading on a monitor.
  • Make sure that the text contrasts well with the background . My advice is to use a dark font (black or dark gray) on a white background, even if sometimes the opposite is also acceptable.
  • Use only one color for text and one for links. Possibly you can use two colors for the links: one for those not visited (default is blue # 0000FF) and one for those visited (usually violet # 800080 ).
  • Use bold for basic steps. In fact, the reader will often not read the text in full but will tend to move the eyes along the text in search of keywords. For this reason it is important that the words in bold are those that summarize the main concepts.
  • Avoid stressed. The underlined fact often indicates a link. Underlining a sentence that is not a link will lead the reader to waste time trying to click on it. So choose bold for keywords.