Storytelling Tips From Author Nicholas Sparks:

Wednesday, April 04, 2012 Farkhanda Qaiser 0 Comments Category :

1. Tell a Universal Story

Generally speaking, I set out to write easy-to-read, entertaining, original love stories with a poignant endings, ones that generate genuine emotion – with universal themes and universal characters. In terms of style, I attempt to write with efficiency, conciseness, and originality in uncluttered, vigorous prose. The same is true when telling stories through photographs – be efficient, concise, original, and uncluttered. Take photos that show genuine emotion, and keep them universal – they won’t get dated.

2. Consider Narrative and Emotion

My ideas never come easily. Generally, I work through hundreds of ideas and characters (a process that can take months) before finally making my decision and beginning to write. Once I’ve decided on the theme, I start to mentally outline the story and run through possible ideas. Before I start writing, I know how the story begins and ends, as well as five or six of the major events in the novel, which serve as turning points. Once I have those things, I’m ready to begin. Most of what happens in between the five or six major events is created as I proceed. The same is true with telling stories through photos – take the time to think about the narrative and emotion you want to capture before you take your shot.

3. Storytelling is a Process

It can take as long as three months to conceive of a story, and in the end, it usually takes four or five months to complete a novel, not counting editing, which adds an additional month or so. The “thinking” stage is the most challenging – it’s so frustrating to sift through hundreds of ideas, not knowing whether you’ll ever come up with one worth pursuing! The same is true with photography – you can take hundreds of pictures and only come up with one truly great shot.

4. Involve the Reader

Some of the reasons readers and critics have given for my books’ popularity are: the novels are easy-to-read and entertaining, the reader is made to feel like "a fly on the wall" and feels involved in the story, readers can relate to the characters, the stories are believable, as if they could happen to anyone, they are deeply romantic, they lack profanity, and they make readers both laugh and cry. Again, these are universal qualities that I strive for.

5. Mirror Life's Emotions

The best dramatic stories allow the readers to experience a full range of emotions. Hopefully, my readers feel a bit of everything—empathy, hopefulness, happiness, love, anger and sadness—as they turn the pages of my novels. Make sure your personal photos do the same. A story – like life itself – isn’t complete without the full range of emotions.

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