Story Telling and Getting Published


This is a very interesting talk from publishing agent Julian Friedmann.

He makes some strong points about storytelling and engaging with your audience, and relays some hard facts to start with, but then goes on to make some very insightful points about writing stories that people read. Most of us have pretty boring lives and we tend to have more stress than we do adventure or contentment.

This point in itself could have a book written about it, but take a step back for a second and think of a day in your working life and would it make an interesting read? Perhaps parts of it would and if not this is something you may wish to change. But the point here is to think about the reader as you write your book – bring them drama and tears, or laughter and fun. Do not relay to them a dull sequence of events and bring excitement into their lives.

Of course, don’t be too hard on yourself for even people with the most exciting lives would have the dull bits cut out from a novel about them, such as going to the toilet or getting dressed, as this is not particularly engaging for someone to read, but as the filmmaker, Frank Capra once said there are no rights and wrongs in filmmaking, only sins, and the greatest sin of all is dullness! 

A lot of his talk can be summarised in a quote from Alfred Hitchcock, where he said, “What is drama, but with the dull bits cut out.” So when you write a story you must make it engaging, and there are various ways to do this – make characters relatable, create conflict, evoke strong emotions, and make the reader laugh. These incomplete tips are of course a very brief summary of ways in which you can engage with your reader – but for more advice please see the story craft section of the website.