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The Art Of The Unspoken: Give Your Reader A Chance To Fill In The Rest


If you want your readers to NOT get bored with a stereotypical ending and/or to keep them hooked, then it is high time for you to learn about The Art of the Unspoken!

This technique can be hard to grasp and utilise effectively at first, but it means you will give your readers chance to fill in the rest WITHOUT you needing to be ‘on the nose’ with it.

These 7 tips will make your journey to creating the breathtaking mysterious atmosphere easier. Chew on these for size:

1) Pacing

With a purpose to create a mystery you need to control the rhythm and pace of the narration. In other words, it’s your call how to present the events. Pacing depends on the planned length of your story. For sure, the events will unfold faster in a short story and told in a leisurely manner in a voluminous epic.

KEY TAKEAWAY: All you need to do is to take a sheet of paper and write down all events you’re planning to depict in your story. Analyse them and decide, which of them are major, and which of them are just needed to support those major events. MORE: 3 Things To Remember For Act 3

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2) Purposeful omission

Leaving out the details is crucial, if you intend to create a mysterious atmosphere. This device gives you an opportunity to play with the reader’s mind and the reader gets an opportunity to get involved in your story.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Leave some hints here and there in the story, and you will be surprised how compelling your story will get. Make your readers hesitate, doubt everything they read about, even their favorite characters.

3) Ambiguous ending

Best depicted on the big screen, uncertain endings play with readers’ mind and resort to their creativity. Remember movie “The Butterfly Effect”, where the directors offered several endings

for the most demanding viewers? This is a classic example of uncertain ending.

The same effect can be reached while writing the story. Back in the days, Charlotte Bronte was one of those, who forced her readers to keep guessing about what had happened to the heroine of Bronte’s novel “Villette”. In the modern literature creating an ambiguous ending remains crucial for the storytelling as the device to keep readers excited and involved.

KEY TAKEAWAY: We all know that any romance often ends with two lovers being together, any detective folds up with a mystery being solved and an antagonist being punished… Blah Blah Blah. Remember that as a writer you have an opportunity to engage your readers’ creative potential. Let them determine character’s fate on their own and make up their own ending. Give them some “Food for Thought”. MORE: Top 7 Writing Tips For Great Characterisation 


4) Mysterious characters

Don’t be disoriented by the word “mysterious”. In most cases, it doesn’t mean that you necessarily need to create a grumpy, moody and silent character. In the 2017 screen version of a certain superhero movie, the antagonist may first be perceived as helpful, easy-going man with no obvious “evil” traits … So revealing him as the main enemy of the protagonist created the necessary effect that screenwriters needed.

KEY TAKEAWAY: So, to master the art of the unspoken, creating mysterious characters is utterly necessary. But try not to overdo yourself and put your story into danger of being too predictable and boring. Everything is good in moderation.

5) Structuring the sentences and correct word choice

Behind the sentence structure and words, you are picking out for your story lies the purpose of the narrative. Onomatopoeic words depicting different sounds, suggestive verbs breathing life into the narration will create the effect of mystery you’re striving for.

Binding your words into sentences, creating metaphors, similes and paradoxes will definitely enliven your story and create necessary atmosphere. Active and energetic language will smoothly lead your story and engage the readers.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Try not to spoil your narration with incessant “verbal diarrhoea”. Avoid using prepositions when possible in order to make your story more readable. You can try to use stylistic devices and expressive means, don’t you? Goddamnit, at least you could do that! (ARF). MORE: 10 Common Errors In Your Writing You Need To Fix Right Now 

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6) Pressure the readers by pressuring your characters

For example, make your protagonists deal with seemingly unsurmountable problems, so they stain their skills, knowledge and creativity to escape the situations you’ve put them into. Put the characters your reader care about the most into jeopardy. Make your readers fear and worry!

KEY TAKEAWAY: Make the reader effectively stand in the characters’ shoes by emphasising their emotions. It doesn’t matter what they have to get through: sufferings, eminence or injustices, all the feelings about them should be believable.

 7) Making your readers anxious!

This is a tool which also creates the necessary effect of suspense. The essence of suspense lies in promising your readers something, but delaying it to the necessary moment, which is often found in the climax. But don’t make your readers disappointed – fulfilling the suspense is crucial. Readers always need to be satisfied after reading the story.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Guide the reader through your story. Make them compulsively turn the pages of your novel, get them worried and sympathetic, and your audience will be unbelievably grateful to you for the wonderful journey you’ve invited them to join. MORE: 12 Character Journeys We Can Learn From

BIO: Scott Ragin is a passionate writer who draws the inspiration from something that really means the most to him: his readers. He never ceases to find new methods of enriching his writing. Scott is a writing expert at college paper writing service. Feel free to follow him on Twitter.

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