“Hello. How may I-“
“How do I write non-traditional stories?”
“What do you mean? Like… short stories? Or even poems?”
“No. Like, those stories that aren’t just full of description and prose. Because if you expect me to ramble on and on about how the outside world looks, you’ve got another thing coming your way. I mean, can’t you just tell a story through dialogue?”
“Well, there are different ways of telling a story. Not all of them need prose.”
“Tell me more.”
“Have a seat, and I’ll explain it all.”
Just like the above example explains, there is more than one way to tell a story. And that’s great because we all have different strengths and weaknesses as writers. For example, you may be great at writing purple prose for pages on end but terrible at writing fight scenes.
You just have to pick the writing style that best suits your strengths and masks your weaknesses. Don’t be afraid to play around with more than one or all of the styles. Exploring as a writer is the best way to find what works and doesn’t work for you.
Now, for the list.
- Traditional Story Writing: You know the type. Narrative-based. Told in chapters. Each chapter is typically around 1,500 to 2,500 words long. And there is a lot of description with these. Some writers are known to spread it all over and in thick amounts, too. Sure, description is nice and all, but it can get excessive pretty fast. So, if you choose this type, make sure to strike a balance between description and action. (Example? Look at almost every published novel out there.)
- A One-Shot: This is written much like the first type, aside from one major difference. Instead of being told in many chapters, this type of story is finished and wrapped up within one chapter. Hence the name. It’s definitely easier to write, but you’ll be restricted by how much you can develop your world and characters. So, a more complex plot is better off being written using the long and descriptive style. (Example? Check this out.)
- A Short Story: This is very different from a one-shot. While both have a short total word count, it’s all about the presentation that matters. One-shots have all their words concentrated in one post while short stories are told with short chapters. For example, I wrote a short story called Nightmare before. 25 parts. 4.8k words total. The average length of each part? About 200 words. The whole thing was a 10-minute read, but you still got a great experience from reading it. It was deep, metaphorical, and I loved every second of writing it. It also made a great freewrite, too, and I just jumped in to write a new part every time without any preplanning. Problems with it? None as far as I can tell, but you’ll have to be succinct yet descriptive at the same time and not a lot of people can pull that off well. (Example? There are many, but I will restrict myself to just one. Here it is.)
- Dialogue Stories: Last but not least, you can tell a story in pure dialogue. It’s been done before, and it certainly is a fun style to try out. The only problem is that you’ll need to choose a way for your characters to communicate. Phone call. Text message. Group chat. Skype. Kik. The list goes on and on. Well, there are more problems, too. Like finding a reason for your characters to speak in the first place. If they are strangers, how do they meet and switch info? But I’ll let you figure out those on your own. Who knows? Maybe I’ll make a special blog post just for this style of writing in the future. (Example? I’m addicted to reading these, so I’ll give you two. This one and this one. )
There are many more ways to write. It’s not just these four categories. A great friend of mine is writing a screenplay over on Wattpad. If you’re interested, click here to check it out. You could also tell a story in letters or diary entries, too. The sky isn’t the limit anymore. As long as you can think it up, you can do it. Anyways, time to wrap up this blog post. [It’s subject to editing like much of my writing guides, of course.]
Got any questions? Leave a comment below or contact me through my contact page.