The same goes for writing. When writing a book there are certain key ingredients that one must use in the proper amounts. Otherwise your story will not be palatable.
A great story contains the perfect blend of facts and fiction. Too many facts can make your story dry and boring, like one of your old high school history books. And not enough facts can make your story too unbelievable and hard for your reader to swallow.
Even in a made up world where the reader is asked to disregard everything they know to be true—the suspension of disbelief—there still needs to be facts associated with that make believe world so that it appears to be real.
So how do you do that? How do you take a fictional story and make it real? How do you know when you’ve reached that perfect balance?
- Show, don’t tell.
2. If it doesn’t progress the story, don’t use it.
If a fact is pertinent to the story then use it. If not, then set it aside for another story at another time. Every chapter, every paragraph, and every sentence needs to advance the reader, along with the story.
One of the biggest mistakes a rookie writer can make is trying to include everything, including the invention of the kitchen sink, into their story. Not all of it is necessary. Your readers are smart. They don’t need to be told the same thing a dozen different ways. Make a point only once, and then move on.
While there are a myriad of other ways to help an author create a compelling and realistic story (even if it’s pure fantasy) these three basic rules will help you create a story with depth and substance, one that your readers will surly be able to sink their teeth into.
Now let’s get cooking!