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16 October 2014

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Refining and Completing the Story

Refining and Completing the Story by Gilly Adams

* Try your story out on others and get feedback. What works and what doesn't? Are you being clear? Have you left out something important that was there originally?

* Less is more. Expect to re-write and re-write. Edit rigorously. What is the essence of your story? Attempt to express that in one sentence. Now make sure that you have nothing unnecessary. Does everything move the story on?

* Avoid cliché and banal sentiments. Phrases like "he's always there for me" are exhausted. Look for a fresh form of words.

* Generalities are lazy and close things down. The specific, well observed detail is what will resonate.

* Remember that, whilst an anecdote can meander, a story needs structure. The end needs to have some connection with the beginning to be satisfying. Think of stepping stones. When you reach the other bank of the river you should still be able to see the bank from which you started the journey.

* And the stepping stones are important. They are the steps that build the story. Make sure you haven't missed a vital step out.

* Treat your story with respect as though it were the best story in the world.

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