What Makes for a Good Storyline? | 7 Tips You Need to Create a Bestseller

Shubham Kumar Shubham Kumar
Apr 4, 2022 5 min read
What Makes for a Good Storyline? | 7 Tips You Need to Create a Bestseller

Authors across the world have produced a lot of masterpieces and literary treasures, some of which people still revere after decades. The love for literature can be seen in these aspiring writers, as they can be seen dreaming of creating one of the masterpieces and getting the #1 bestseller achievement. An aspiring writer, always tend to wonder what it is that the popular writers got right, that so many other authors did not. The secrets that all the #1 bestsellers have.

There are several techniques that authors follow to be inspired and write quality content. Some of these are unique, while some others are good generic practices that all aspiring writers should follow. In this article, you will learn some tips and tricks to write an excellent storyline. So, let's get right into the business.

Tips You Need to Create a Bestseller

Outline of Your Plot
Strong Opening
Elaborate Your Characters
Dialouge and Narrative Structure
Build the Suspense
The Timeline and Setting of the Story
The Perfect Climax

Outline of Your Plot

Before starting the prologue or Chapter 1, you should have a clear idea of the novel outline. Β Your story's skeleton should consist of the overview of the story it includes the introduction, key events, main characters, and the climax. The overview has to be of perfect size, a summary of the plot that you should be able to tell in under a minute. If you can get this underway, it means you have all your basic plot set, which holds the entire novel together.

Strong Opening

To capture the reader's attention right from the start a powerful or startling opening line or a gruesome or shocking opening sequence is needed. Remember that the beginning need not to be the first incident chronologically.

In thrillers, the prologue usually begins with an ominous incident, the significance of which is known only later in the book. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with a simple opening where you introduce all the characters one by one and set the mood or tone of the novel. Another way of beginning a story is to "start at the end," and narrate the remainder of the book through flashbacks or diary entries. It makes it interesting and can keep the attention of readers till the end.

Elaborate Your Characters

It is always good to prepare a mental picture of the characters and their traits beforehand so that you can plan how you want to introduce them to the story. The protagonist and antagonist typically have an elaborate introduction sequence, sometimes with a backstory as well. Some characters end up being just names, while others have a deceptive nature to the reader until the end of the tale.

Make your characters realistic; create qualities, strengths, and weaknesses that the readers can empathize with or find a connection with. Your pen and imagination have the power to create powerful and memorable heroes Β and villains.

Dialouge and Narrative Structure

Some characters have become famous because of their nature, while others have become popular because of their punchlines. The dialogue is an integral part of stories that most writers underestimate. Conversations can reveal a lot of details about the plot and especially about the nature of the characters in the story.

A closely linked factor is the narrative format of your story: first-person or third-person. If you want the reader to explore the story from a particular character's point of view, use the first-person narrative. If you want to talk about multiple storylines or wish to reveal information to the reader that none of the characters knows, the third-person narrative is better. This format, however most of the time forces you to write using formal language.

Build the Suspense

The build-up of the plot and the escalation of all the storylines towards the finale form the biggest chunk of the book. You must keep the reader guessing at all stages of the book; that is what keeps the story flowing. How much information you reveal to the reader and the characters in the book defines the suspense.

Using plot twists is the best way to surprise the reader, but you need to get the timing right. Note that plot twists can serve as humour elements too. A comedy of errors or a hilarious mix-up is effective in engaging the reader.

The Timeline and Setting of the Story

The time period of your story is very important, the setting depend on the time period. It can be restricted to a small, possibly imaginary, town, or it can also span across several countries. It can be in the contemporary settings, during the Second World War, or in the year futuristic world. The setting can be put into action only after analysing the time period.

You need to know enough about the location you choose, it includes the people, their culture, local events, and others. You can choose to tweak science and history a bit to make your book more entertaining, but do not go overboard.

The Perfect Climax

One of the most important thing that an author ponder on is how to write an ending that will blow the reader's mind away. If you want a final plot twist, you must lay enough clues in the story to lead up that perfect plot twist. If you had to pick one segment of the story to give maximum attention to, it is the climax. There are various types of endings you can give your story, and you can select the one that fits in most naturally.

For a mystery novel, tie up all the loose ends and present a clean solution. If you want to continue the book in a "Part 2", you can either write the climax in such a way that this novel is a standalone book or by preserving some essential information for the sequel, it depends on your writing skills.


The storyline is the heart of your book, and getting it right is paramount to your novel's success. You have the freedom to use your creativity in any way you want, and you can use the best writing apps as well. Ultimately, the effort you put in must make the book the best one possible.


What are the three things that make a good story?

The three things that make a good story are:

  • Characters
  • Conflict
  • Resolution

Who is the world's highest-paid author?

Dan Brown is the highest-paid author in the world and his net worth is $178 million.

Who are the three most famous authors in the world?

The three most famous authors in the world are William Shakespeare, George Orwell and J.K. Rowling.

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