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I Asked a Group of Learners of English to Write a Story and They Taught Me a Storytelling Lesson

Make your readers care

I asked a group of adult learners of English to write a 50-word story about this picture.

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This is what they wrote:

In a rainyday one lady, she was in hurry, she was mad about the accident, and she feels blame. The groceries bags were damaged because the paper was not strong enough. All of the groceries fall out on the stairs and go everywhere, one of one bottle was broken and the wine spill on the floor. The miserable lady ask to some one help to pick up the groceries.

No, the problem isn’t the grammar. After all, these are learners.

The problem is that the story fails to make you care about the main character. And when readers don’t empathise with the main character, they can’t connect with themselves.

The writer has failed.

A great story makes you care.

Fabio Cerpelloni is an English language teacher, writer, author, and podcaster from Italy. You can find out more about him and his work by clicking on his glass of beer in the photo.