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How to Make Up a Convincing Story

Need to make fiction sound like fact? It only takes a few steps to spin a convincing yarn.


  • Step 1: Devise the plot Map out the basic plot before you start to ensure you create a logical story. Make your tale's beginning strong and realistic -- audiences often believe the first messages they encounter.
  • Step 2: Simplify situations Repeat the story's central conflict often to maintain focus -- audiences are more likely to suspend disbelief for a plot they can follow.
  • Step 3: Create characters Create characters that act consistently to help satisfy the expectations you create for the audience. Include a hero with clear motivations whom the audience can easily identify with and root for.
  • TIP: Give your hero flaws to make identifying with them even easier -- perfection isn't believable.
  • Step 4: Add details Incorporate details about settings, times, and emotions into your story to create context for the action. Make sure to get specifics right -- it's hard to convince an audience it was a snowing if your story's set in the desert.
  • Step 5: Finish it off Tie up loose ends to leave the audience feeling satisfied -- not only will they be more likely to believe you now, they'll be more inclined to trust you if you need to make up a convincing story in the future.
  • FACT: In 1830, Edward Bulwer-Lytton's published the novel Paul Clifford with the famous opening line, "It was a dark and stormy night."

You Will Need

  • Basic plot
  • Strong beginning
  • Central conflict
  • Consistent characters
  • Hero
  • Realistic details
  • Satisfying ending
  • Character flaws (optional)

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