ggplot2 allows for beautiful out-of-the-box data visualizations. The defaults are thoughtful and work well in a lot of situations, but they will never know the story that you want to tell with your plot. I’ll talk about a few ways to use ggplot2 and extension packages to guide your story. Using a case study, I’ll cover some built-in tools to use color, themes, and direct labeling to highlight important parts of your plot. I’ll then talk about two packages, ggrepel and gghighlight, that make it easy to add labels and colors in a way that focuses the reader’s attention. Finally, I’ll talk about arranging and annotating plots with some tools in ggplot2, cowplot, and patchwork to develop your narrative.