Relating events in chronological order works better if we're testifying in a criminal case, or demonstrating how to bake a cake, where the steps need to be shown in a step-by-step fashion.
With a story, we need to intrigue our readers, entice them into going one more paragraph, and then one more page, luring them into finishing the chapter, and then leaving them breathless to read "just one more".
In order to accomplish this, we may need to change how we present the sequence of dramatic events.
For instance, while drafting a recent story, I started with the hero's POV--and his dilemma--since it's the catalyst for what happens later. It also presents him in a more sympathetic light, since his actions could possibly seem callous without the reader knowing why he's acting the way he does.
Then I switch to the heroine's scene, where she is dealing with the consequences of the hero's actions. She thinks he is heartless, but the reader knows what is going on, and is able to reassure her: "Hey, it's not his fault! Just wait, you'll see!"
But then I wondered if it might be better to change this up, putting the heroine's scene first. Without the hero's initial scene, there could be a lot more potential conflict if he is required to explain things to the heroine later. There will definitely be tension in the scene (and okay, some groveling on his part). This might make for a more interesting story merely by reorganizing how I relate the events.
Or maybe I'll leave things as they are. I haven't completely decided.
One thing I do know for sure: storytelling isn't always linear. It's filled with surprises, and twists and turns, flashbacks and backstory. Sometimes information is delayed to increase suspense, while other times it is divulged to make readers squirm with apprehension.
As the writer, you know what needs to happen, and you decide how to present that information so that it is entertaining, intriguing, and delightful, making readers exclaim, "I didn't see that coming!"
Now all you have to do is get the characters to go along with your plan.
What is your favorite storytelling technique? How do you keep readers surprised and turning the pages?