Writing The DNB Style

by Daniel Nkado


So we decided to take a little break today to provide these tips for anyone interested in sharing his or her story on DNB Stories.

First, we like to call DNB a STORY blog rather than using the more sophisticated LITERARY blog.

What we hope to achieve, and has been successful in doing for many months now, is to create an easy platform where anyone can read and share powerful stories, not minding what writing credits you have and where you have gathered them from.

Wisconsin, Manchester, Harvard? We really couldn’t care less!

Because we know a story is better if handled by two hands, we have editors to cut out those unwanted details and add the little things you have forgotten to add, in the end creating an easy-to-follow, relatable story that is African to the core.

These tips will help you get published on DNB Stories much faster.

1. Forget About Big Words

The chief aim of writing should be the smooth conveyance of your message. At DNB, we turn our faces away from ‘political’ writing where mostly the writer is more interested in showing off his grammatical prowess [forgive that we used that] than what message he/she is intending to pass.

This is from Late Professor Achebe:

“Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond. His fame rested on solid personal achievements. As a young man of eighteen he had brought honor to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat.”

2. Do Not Pause To Describe 

We love rich narration where details such as weather and smell are used to bring the story to life, but then you shouldn’t pause your story just to describe.

Not advisable.

Check out these two paragraphs for instance:

A. ‘The morning was cold and windy. The sky was darkly blue. The air felt damp to breathe. The orchard trees danced in the light wind. There was a creaking in the roof. Ade opened the door and came out…’

B. ‘Ade stepped out into the cold morning. He walked past the fluttering branches of the orchard trees into his car…’

Set your story in motion and then sandwich the descriptive elements in-between.

3. Describe With Common Things 

This one explains itself. Instead of saying ‘The man ran like a 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari’, just use squirrel. We’ll still get your point.

4. Give Your Story A Target

We are not talking about just the message of your story here. You have to set a target for your story and try to achieve it. Do you want your readers to laugh out loud at the end? Do you want them to drop their phone and start crying? Do you want them to feel anger and the urge to move things? Don’t just tell a normal, impression-less story. Let it have an impact.

5. Use Believable Dialogue

This is one place we see a lot of flaws. Unless you are trying to be funny, a girl that grew up in the village cannot necessarily scream, ‘Holy Shit!’ 

6. Don’t Give In To Restrictions

Write from the depth of your soul. Don’t be afraid to write about the ugly. It is now our job once we approve to publish you, to cut off the unneeded parts.

7. Mind The ‘Ly’ Adverbs

She stupidly picked the phone and sleepily walked to the bed where she quietly sat and slowly began talking happily with him.


Why say, ‘She closed the door firmly’, when you only could have just said, ‘She slammed the door’?

Using less ‘ly’ adverbs ensures you do more showing than telling.

We will stop here for now.

Keep the submissions coming. We file all.

Once yours is ready, we will publish it.

Please note that this article is not intended to annul any previous writing knowledge that you have acquired.

Share this post with your friends:

15 Comments on “Writing The DNB Style”

  1. Not a good story teller, but can read any thing readable! So, am waiting for the writers to feed feed and feed me none stop.

  2. Nice tips. Thanks so much for these. I hope I have the courage to pick up my pen and write something someday.

  3. Using common examples awesome! I would like to add make your examples African we buy more of what we know!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.