Five essential writing tips backed by science
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The best stories are always a hero’s journey, where challenges and problems transform a person.
Human beings still have a tribal instinct in their DNA, and the modern age has transcended all the prior boundaries. The stories we believe, and the hero’s narrative each one of us follows, are what make up our major beliefs in life. We all love a good story as we are all deep down a story only, a coherent narrative that we call our own.
Incomplete stories are filled automatically by the brain, as we have an urge to find meaning in everything. We also tend to believe the simplest explanations. Stories need to be shown a linear cause and effect for the reader to stay interested. If there are too many effects, the effect is lost.
Human beings react to physical and environmental changes all the time. Likewise, a good story requires changes and challenges, and characters need to be provided with certain crossroads of change, else the story does not move.
According to Will Storr, author of ‘The Science Of Storytelling’, reality is just a phrase for a common set of shared facts and surroundings and is mainly a mind construct. We may not be living in reality, but through our internal storytelling, we are constructing a reality. We may just be the sum of the stories inside our minds.
Most writers become emotionally invested(and hence biased) in their main character.
A great storyteller must come out of his ‘self’ and be willing to expose his own flaws. In real life, one rarely gets to know who he is(self-realization), but in a story, the hero can realize himself, while recognizing his conflicting desires and thoughts.
Flawed characters have been a favourite in stories, as it is the imperfections in life that are relatable, as we are all partly biased, stubborn and imperfect. Flaws also show that life is not fully in one’s control.
Apart from plots, having a convincing character and exposing their flaws is a hallmark of a great story.
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