The Most Important Rule of Writing No One Talks About 

Christopher Kokoski



If you could only teach ONEwriting lesson for the rest of your life, what would you teach?

My answer: Contrast.

Why?

5SuspicouslySpecific Reasons Contrast Is the Most Important Rule of Writing

  1. Contrast is the key to a high-concept premise
  2. Contrast improves nearly every element of story
  3. Contrast is compelling to readers
  4. Contrast is inherent in the understanding of story
  5. Contrast works at both the micro and macro level of story

By definition, contrast combines opposites.

“cold fire”

“wet sand”

“beautiful atrocity”

It’s intriguing because it’s unexpected. It grabs attention, generates curiosity and keeps readers glued to the page. If you want to design a bestseller idea, use contrast. If you want to improve a sentence, paragraph, description, character or scene – contrast every time.

After all, most stories involve contrast on a macro level. Cinderella is both peasant and princess. Alice travels to Wonderland. The lesson of the…

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3 Comments

  1. What an amazing tip! This is really awesome. Thank you!

  2. I thought so too! And writers of most memorable characters use this technique.

  3. Great point! Thanks for the reminder.

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