5 Tips for Writing Captivating Sentences in Your Stories

5 Tips for Writing Captivating Sentences in Your Stories

By on Feb 8, 2016 in Fiction, Writing & Editing


Your story depends on the narrative, the plot and good characterization. However, writing that story in a captivating way will enchant your readers. Writing sentences that seem magically constructed will complete your story, and will make the readers sigh in pleasure when they read it. It will also ensure that your readers will read your next story, simply to enjoy more of your writing. Putting an effort into writing captivating sentences, maybe even rewriting your whole story, will ensure that the universe you’ve created, the characters that inhabit it and their story will stay on the readers’ minds for a long time. Below, we’ve shown several ways you can do this.

1. Use strong, descriptive words

The best way to describe what is happening to your protagonist, or around them, is to see the world through their eyes completely. As the writer, you will always have more knowledge than your protagonist, and if that bleeds out into your writing, your sentences will have the nature of a report. But, if you see the world through their eyes, and use strong verbs, adverbs, and adjectives to describe everything exactly as it happens, your sentences will be more powerful. Use concrete words, especially verbs to describe motion, and show physical effects when describing strong emotions.

2. Reflect your protagonist’s mood

This is especially important when writing in first person point of view and third person limited. The narration always reflects the inner thinking of the protagonist, and the sentences should reflect this as well. For example, a calm protagonist that reflects on things, which have recently happened to them will express this in a calm manner – meaning that the sentences to describe this will also be calm, unrushed. But, if the protagonist is nervous, the sentences can be a little bit rushed, the pace faster even if you’re not writing an action scene. The action, in this case, happens inside the protagonist’s mind.

3. Use good humor

We specified ‘good’ humor, because an overly sarcastic protagonist will get on your readers’ nerves. However, using humor in your writing will captivate your readers. Your protagonist will find a lot of different things funny, depending on their character, of course. They can make jokes to themselves (to the readers) about their surroundings, the people they come in contact with, or make self-deprecating jokes. Any of the previous cases will make your characters and the protagonist that more endearing to the readers and plenty of the jokes will remain in your readers’ memories.

4. Beware of long sentences

Read your story carefully and look for sentences that are too long. Long sentences are not captivating because they can be pretty difficult to follow. Remember that you want your readers to be captivated, and not struggle and concentrate to understand what you’re trying to say. When it comes to length, short sentences are also not particularly captivating. When you want to slow down the pace, but not lose the attention of your readers, use sentences that are neither too short, nor too long. Compose them with care, and stop at the right moment to ensure the sentence is enchanting, but not overwhelming.

5. Write to invoke emotions

Invoke emotion in your readers by writing sentences brimming with emotion. Emotion can happen with a look, a thought, or can be caused by a smell. Emotion is in memories, in things the protagonist had, lost, regained. Happiness is detected in smiles, and sadness conveyed by wet cheeks and blurred vision. When your protagonist feels strong emotions, your readers should feel those emotions as well. The best way to invoke emotions is to show how they both physically and psychologically affect your characters. Avoid telling how your characters feel, because that doesn’t invoke emotions. Use metaphors instead of similes, because metaphors create stronger images, and allow you to get creative with your sentences.

Image credit: Pixabay

Georgina Roy wants to live in a world filled with magic. As an art student, she’s moonlighting as a writer and is content to fill notebooks and sketchbooks with magical creatures and amazing new worlds. When she is not at school, or scribbling away in a notebook, you can usually find her curled up, reading a good urban fantasy novel, or writing on her laptop, trying to create her own.


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