Home · Tags · Source Code

Sins of Storytelling

Tags: writing, storytelling, tips

Last Updated on Sat, 12 Aug 2023 14:49:17 GMT - Edit Page

  1. Lack of Clear Motivations: Characters who act without clear motivations can feel inconsistent or unbelievable. It's essential that characters have reasons for their actions that align with their established personalities.

  2. Deus Ex Machina: This refers to the sudden or unexpected introduction of a character, ability, or event that conveniently solves a problem. It often feels like a cheat to readers or viewers.

  3. Inconsistent World-Building: If a story is set in a world with its own rules (like a fantasy or sci-fi setting), those rules need to be consistent. Changing them without explanation can break immersion.

  4. Flat Characters: Characters who lack depth, growth, or complexity can be unengaging. Readers connect with characters who have strengths, flaws, desires, and fears.

  5. Overuse of Clichés: While some clichés can be used effectively, relying on them too heavily can make a story feel unoriginal.

  6. Telling Instead of Showing: As mentioned earlier, "show, don't tell" is a classic piece of writing advice. Instead of telling the reader how a character feels, it's generally more effective to show it through their actions, dialogue, and surroundings.

  7. Lack of Conflict: Conflict drives narrative. A story without challenges, stakes, or obstacles can feel stagnant.

  8. Info Dumping: Dropping large chunks of information, especially early on, can overwhelm or bore the reader.

  9. Poor Pacing: Whether it's too fast and feels rushed or too slow and feels drawn out, pacing can greatly impact the engagement and enjoyment of a story.

  10. Unresolved Plot Threads: If a narrative sets up questions or introduces subplots, they should be resolved by the end, or it can leave readers feeling unsatisfied.