The term “dramatic” can feel fairly vague. In this case, we use the term to describe fiction that’s intense, powerful, and exciting. The Reedsy team has put together this list of creative writing prompts in the hopes of inspiring authors to write stories that leave readers wondering: what will happen next?
Here are a few tips for helping you achieve that:
- Start In Media Res — latin for “into the middle of things,” In Media Res is a narrative structure that starts midway through the story.
- Give you character ample motivation — character motivation is the reason behind a character’s behaviors and actions in a given scene or throughout a story. This motivation is at the heart of character profiles and is necessary if your goal is to write believable and compelling characters.
- Kick up the dramatic irony — this occurs when readers are informed of significant information that key characters are unaware of. Tension rises between the point of revelation (when the reader first receives the secret insight) and recognition (when the characters are finally brought into the loop).
- Don’t be afraid of conflict — it goes without saying that your conflict will affect not only your plot, but also almost every other important element of your story: your characters, theme, tone, and setting. In that sense, figuring out your central conflict is one of the most important things you’ll do as a writer.
Want more help learning how to write a dramatic story? Check out How to Write a Short Story That Gets Published — a free, ten day course by Laura Mae Isaacman, a full-time editor who runs a book editing company in Brooklyn.
Have a story you’re ready to start submitting? Check out our list of writing contests or our directory of literary magazines.