In writing fiction or non-fiction, many writers commit common mistakes as they build their stories. Achieving the right balance between developing strong characters and a believable plot is sometimes difficult. A story has three fundamental elements that you need to work on to make your story interesting; the three elements are: 1) characters' emotional development; 2) dramatic action; and 3) the thematic significance (the overall story meaning). If you emphasize one more over the other, then you could overdevelop your story or under develop the plot and make it boring.
1. The Beginning
Use the beginning of the story to establish elements like the setting, the mystery, and the love interest if there is one.
The beginning is where you introduce your character and give a preview of his or her emotional development throughout the story. During this time, begin to introduce the protagonist's loves and hates, dreams and aspirations, as well as strengths and weaknesses. Your readers will begin to relate to your protagonist and feel an emotional connection to your character in later chapters.
The "dramatic action" is another important element that you must establish in earlier chapters. As a writer, you must create a central desire to entice readers to look for answers as they work through the story with your character. The end, of course, will determine the answers to your character's desires.
2. The Middle
In the middle part, you must further develop the plot and develop your characters' emotions. The middle is where the protagonist faces adversity, brought about by an antagonist, in order to reveal characters' traits, personalities, desires, and emotions.
You may write a story with different types of antagonists. These may include other people, nature, society, a certain belief system, and even the protagonist's own self. An antagonist is responsible to create conflict in the story. Your story’s hero will have to react to and try and resolve the tension.
During this part of the story, it is important for your readers to feel the suspense and drama. While conflict places your main character under pressure, this paves way for your plot to introduce morals and thematic significance in your story. Through your main characters way of acting towards tension, they will set an example on how each action will have an equal reaction.
3. The End
The last part of the story is your chance to resolve all conflicts and to show your readers the consequences of everything that has conspired within your plot. Your characters must show a clear change and emotional development, especially on your protagonist. After all, this is where you show how adversities have transformed your characters that they had faced in the middle chapters.
During this part, you must answer the "dramatic action." A resolution -- to all events and mysteries that have unfolded in your story -- must fulfill the central desire from the story's beginning. Your story must present a clear thematic significance to teach readers certain morals.
You decide if you want to leave your readers hanging so they can create their own ending, or you can paint a perfect resolution for them. Whatever you choose, remember to leave your readers with a sense of fulfillment in the end. Your readers should also learn something from your chosen theme.
The basic key to have your readers relate to your plot, story and characters is to strike that balance between the elements. Make sure you balance the growth of your characters as well as the action in your plot. Make sure the dramatic action transforms your characters as your story progresses.
Keep your story flowing. Emphasize the three major elements: the characters' emotional development, the dramatic action, and the thematic significance. Doing so will keep your readers interested in your book.