Every culture has a storytelling tradition; it helps us interpret the past and shape the future. For centuries, the description of events in words has been a way of entertaining and educating, and a means of preserving customs and beliefs.
Today, when we commit stories to print we share our limited knowledge and understanding of the world with others, in the hope that they will recognise the fictional universe we have created.
For a story to succeed it should contain cultural references that the reader understands; it needs some memorable characters, some conflict and a strong, plausible plot. A satisfying payoff is crucial though unlikely coincidences are to be avoided at all costs. How we decide to tell our story – in the past, present or future, and whose voice we choose to relate events will all have an effect on the narrative.
In the end, it all sounds deceptively simple. Surely we can produce an engaging tale that will give our readers pause; with a storyline that’s filled with twists and turns and a conclusion that will take them completely by surprise?