The “Friend” is synonymous with uplifting stories that make readers feel good about themselves and life. How do you go about writing such stories, though? Here I share a few suggestions on how to write stories that will hopefully touch readers’ hearts.
How to write…
“Friend” readers love to read about characters they can relate to. What’s important isn’t so much a character’s background, vocation or life experience. What matters is personality, and how a character reacts and behaves through the course of the story. If you can make the reader part of the character’s decision-making, this will help evoke reader empathy and sympathy.
Hope is key
What a story is about matters to the “Friend” reader, but it doesn’t mean to say it’s sugar-coated from the first page to the last. We tackle some forthright situations and problems that arise in life. It’s important, though, to instil a sense of hope in the storytelling. Again, it’s issues the reader can identify with – directly or indirectly.
A positive escape
A good benchmark for hope and reader escapism are our illustrations. Apart from the title and write-up, the illustration is the first thing a reader will look at before delving into a story. A reader doesn’t want to be confronted by unhappy faces, or sombre situations. Even if a story is about overcoming illness or grief, the illustration and story will highlight optimism.
A fitting end
In an illustration, there’s a fine line whether a character looks reflective or sad. It’s the same with a story. Focussing on how characters respond to challenges will build them up in the reader’s eyes.
Story goals are, of course, important, and achievement makes for a satisfying conclusion. However, character evolvement often resonates more by the end of a story.
I know some writers who don’t like to put the words “The End” at the end of their stories. In their eyes, the characters’ journeys are just beginning.
Check out more of our writing tips on the website, and best of luck with your story!