The #1 Rule of Writing
Consistent engagement is an easily overlooked ingredient of irresistible writing. Sometimes, the value of what we’re trying to say can seem paramount to what may be seen as cheap thrills and sensationalism.
But, presenting any narrative theme without considering how enjoyable the journey is, at every turn, for our audience is writing for ourselves first, instead of our audience.
There’s nothing wrong with this approach, if your goal isn’t to sell your work to the public, but rather condense thoughts, feelings and experiences for those close to you and whomever may be interested. However, it is Icarus-level-hubris to believe that any story wouldn’t be more effectively consumed if the audience feels engaged and entertained throughout.
Guaranteeing your content is electric isn’t to cheapen a heartfelt tale with meaningless moments of action and base drama. Substituting superficial events for genuine conflict is nearly as lazy as not bothering to infuse any enthralling material at all.
The brow-beating work of creating story is in blending substance AND entertainment.
(Similar to the age-old marketing slogan: “It tastes good and is good for you.”)
Making the mistake of inserting our story’s messages and themes in lieu of unrelenting entertainment for our audience - is the mistake of putting ourselves ahead of them.
In its best iteration, storytelling is a service. Not emptily “people pleasing” but engineering experiences that feel engaging end-to-end, are value-added and leave our audiences with worthwhile, lasting impressions. So!
#1 Rule of Writing - Don’t Bore Our Audience
As we’ll explore in our piece on Character Development, the positive and negative charges of drama lie in the desires and conflicts of our characters…and the decisions they make during the audience’s time with them.
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