Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Telling Stories (Part 4 of 10)

Too many writers feel they have to write an overwhelming, cataclysmic statement with powerful verbs. That rarely works.

When we tell a story, think of taking the hand of someone and saying, "Let's walk together." We want to interest them, not overwhelm them. If we can start with a simple statement that presents tension (a problem), that's all we need.

An article I wrote a few years ago began:

I couldn't understand why the Africans didn't remember their kindness toward me. I used twelve, easy-to-grasp words. In that article, I told of my return to Africa 15 years after I had lived there.

We don't want to overwhelm them with big, overstuffed words; we don't write to impress. We want to communicate. We do that by showing respect for our readers and their need to be involved in the story.

I forget the heavy drama when I write; 
I focus on telling a good story that readers grasp.

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