People love stories. When I was young, I looked forward to reading a story with my Mom each night before bed. I lost myself in the characters and storyline and often woke up the next morning having dreamed that I was part of the story.
Have you ever noticed too, that it’s almost impossible to resist clicking blog posts that show up in your inbox with the beginnings of what seems to be a good story? It’s nearly universal, this human interest in stories. It must come from our primal ancestry where storytelling around the fire was one of the only ways to entertain – and pass down legacies and history.
As a freelance writer, your ability to intrigue and command your audience’s attention may very well be through a story. Not every type of writing lends itself to storytelling, but a great many such as blogs, articles – even website content – can tell a story.
Where can you get your stories?
There are many sources of stories that can make your writing more interesting. The first and most obvious choice is to use stories from your own life. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to find a memory or a story from your own life that relates to most topics. These are often the most powerful stories as what we experience creates a wonderful memory to draw on. We are able to conjure up images in our mind and description abounds.
Scenarios are similar to stories, but can serve the same purpose in intrigue and interest. Scenarios may begin with the words “Imagine you’re shopping…” Usually what follows is an ideal experience or a less than ideal experience. These scenarios help readers connect with our writing. And connection often leads to more reading and sharing – both desired qualities for a freelance writer’s work.
In writing, there is somewhat of an artistic license that applies. Stories can be embellished and tweaked to best meet the purposes of the piece being written. Use your stories not only to create interest in your writing, but to make a point related to the topic at hand.
Where should I use the stories?
As has already been expressed, the beginning of a piece is where people get hooked into reading the rest of the piece. However, using the occasional short story, continuation of the story or scenario in the middle of the piece can be helpful to make a point or keep the interest up. Using examples, shaped as stories, throughout longer articles can be particularly useful to illustrate concepts and maintain reader interest.
Stories are part of the human experience. We all have them and we can all relate in some way to a story that’s told. We place ourselves in someone else’s footsteps and imagine their life and experiences. For this reason, they can be a very powerful tool in writing. So, if you’re looking to gain a wider audience and improve your writing – use stories. You won’t regret it.