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How to Write a Story: The Art of Storytelling

Editor Recommendations:
How to Write a Story

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Story Engineering eBook | how to write a story, narrative writing, storytelling, story board

Learn to wrap your head around the big picture of storytelling at a professional level

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Story Physics: Harnessing the Underlying Forces of Storytelling | story writing, narrative structure, narrative definition, narrative paragraph

Make your story shine and engage your readers with a deep understanding of storytelling

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Story Structure Architect eBook | story structure, first person narrative, write a story, narrative techniques

Discover how to use the classical structures found in all literature to create unique and successful works

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Tips and Advice for Story Writing

By Brian Klems, Online Editor


When learning how to write a story that audiences (and publishers) will buy, it's important to remember that most successful stories are built the same way, share common plot points and themes, and have narrative paragraph after paragraph that tie the entire book together from beginning to end. Whether you're trying your hand at a first-person narrative novel or writing short stories, the elements involved are the same. But if you don't take the time to research and understand the forms that most bestselling novels share, you'll have a tough time building a story that sells. That's why you should consider these resources before introducing too many hard-to-fix flaws into your book.

CThe Art And Craft Of Storytelling eBook | narrative writing prompts, writing a story, writing short stories, storytelling for kids, how to write a good story

A good story flows from a solid understanding of writing and structure, along with a confident grasp of character, plot, and dialogue

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How to Write a Story: Narrative Structure & Techniques

Larry Brooks offers up two amazing guides for writing strong stories, Story Engineering and Story Physics. In Story Engineering, Brooks discusses the six core competencies of writing a great story: concept, character, theme, story structure (plot), scene construction, and writing voice. He teaches how to design a narrative writing story structure from the bottom up to strengthen your storytelling skills. He also provides tips on how to combine all the elements artfully, allowing your narrative voice to come through in your story writing.

In Story Physics, Brooks delivers the tools needed to help you make your story strong enough to captivate an audience and compete on bookstore shelves. You'll learn the three phases of story development and what they mean to your writing, how to use a beat sheet and more. Plus, Brooks shows how the map he prescribes is evident in many bestselling novels, including The Hunger Games and The Help.


The Nuts and Bolts of Narrative Writing

Books without structure have a difficult time finding a publisher—and an audience, for that matter. Story Structure Architect is designed to help you examine the most commonly used narrative techniques and plot structures to help you determine which sellable story framework is best for your novel. This step-by-step guide walks you though the entire process, from identifying your main characters to building intense conflict to weaving in other devices to lead you to your fantastic conclusion. You'll get an interactive index of thousands of possible story combinations plus 56 timeless dramatic situations that can give your story more depth. It's a must-have resource.


The Art and Craft of Story Writing

Grappling with the fundamentals of writing and narrative definition? It's time to break out The Art and Craft of Storytelling, by Nancy Lamb. In this easy-to-read book, Lamb covers the classic storytelling techniques that tie together the beginnings, middles and ends of novels so readers stay committed to your novel and walk away satisfied. If you need help defining your premise, theme and tone, this is the book for you.


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Brian A. Klems is the Online Editor of Writer's Digest. He's also a writer, husband, perennial fantasy sports underachiever, and father of three lovely little girls. His Writer's Dig blog—which covers writing and publishing—is one of the fastest growing blogs in the writing community, and his first book, OH BOY YOU’RE HAVING A GIRL: A DAD’S GUIDE TO RAISING DAUGHTERS, will be published by Adams Media this spring. Connect with him on Twitter @BrianKlems.