How To Keep Your Writing Engaging
Almost every post about writing strongly suggests writers must keep their writing engaging. You have probably heard it a thousand times – “people must be engaged,” “make it engaging,” “your writing needs to engage,” and so on.
As these tips keep piling up, the moment will come when you just want to yell at the top of your lungs … “BUT HOW?”
That key question – how to make your writing engaging – is the mystery we are about to unravel.
Which boxes do you need to tick to get (and keep) the readers hooked to your story? Keep reading and you’ll find out.
1) Embrace Variation
Now, this one is a big one. You want to remember it, engrave it in your mind, and live by it. If you want to keep your writing engaging, you have to vary sentence structure, type, vocabulary, and other writing elements.
The variation adds dynamic to your story. It eliminates the possibility of sameness that makes readers fall asleep.
What to vary you ask? The introduction, body, and conclusion all need to have variation in …
- sentence structure
- transition words
For example, you can rearrange clauses (or add them) to vary sentence format.
Mixing the type of sentences, their lengths, tone, and so on will make your writing more convincing and impressionable.
2) Start Your Writing Courageously
What I am about to share is how your story needs to begin and … Let’s stop.
Think about how boring this first sentence was. It’s not something that’ll be stuck in your mind years after, right?
Your first sentence MATTERS. Don’t shyly invite your readers to step into the story. Drag them into it with compelling force. That’s what a powerful first sentence can do.
A good tip is to start the story in the midst of the action. Or, make a life-changing point. Just remember Leo Tolstoy’s unforgettable first line from Anna Karenina:
“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
Help people realise a universal truth, and they will trust you. Pull them into action, and they’ll want to know what is happening.
Start your story in a way that will make your readers starving for more.
3) Keep It Real
Be the one who says what others are thinking. Make your writing honest.
In a world that suppresses truth and forces uniformity, people are compelled by individuals who speak their minds. That kind of bravery gets writers rewarded.
Even if your story is fictional, keep it believable. Fiction can also be relatable and tied to everyday struggles when done right.
Use your experiences and intertwine them in your stories. Show to readers that you are one of them.
4) Ask Questions
Can you guess what this is about?
Of course, you can, the title is quite clear. I’m just trying to make a point. That point is: questions compel you to keep reading.
Asking questions is a precious tool for engagement. The best thing about them is that you can use them in any form of writing.
Anticipate questions that your readers might have. Then, embed those questions in the story. Make them think “Wow, he/she can really get into my head.”
The possibilities are endless!
5) Don’t Force It
You don’t need to prove your expertise to anyone. The only person whose expectations you should meet is yours.
Keep this in mind the next time you try to force a technique you learned in creative writing class. Yes, those classes are helpful. However, never sacrifice the flow of writing for the sake of showing off your knowledge of writing techniques.
Better keep it simple and understandable than professional and confusing. Engaging writing should be stripped from verbiage and focused on telling a great story.
The mystery is gone. The truth about the foundations of engaging writing is out there for everyone to know. If you want to ensure that your reader doesn’t snooze after a few sentences, these are the boxes you need to tick.
It’s time to create some engaging stories, don’t you think?
BIO: Jessica Fender is a professional writer and educational blogger at GetGoodGrade, an aggregator for useful college resources and websites. Jessica enjoys sharing her ideas to make writing and learning fun.
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