The 7 Main Story Elements and Why They Matter

Youve got a story concept youre particular has the prospective to impact lives.
Where do you start?
Theres enough writing advice on the internet to overwhelm you and make you wish to stop before you even begin.
So lets simplify things.
Composing a story is like building a home. You may have all the tools and style ideas, but if your foundation isnt strong, even the most lovely structure will not stand.
Many storytelling professionals concur that 7 crucial elements need to exist in your story.
Make certain theyre all consisted of to increase your opportunity of selling your writing.
What are the Elements of a Story?
Reliable, engaging stories include:
1– A Theme
Plot (# 5) is what happens in a story, a style is why it happens– which you need to know while youre composing the plot.
Before you even begin composing, identify why you desire to tell this story..

Resist the temptation to create a best protagonist. Perfect is dull. (Even Indiana Jones suffered a snake phobia.).
You also need an antagonist, the villain.
Your villain ought to be every bit as powerful and compelling as your hero. Due to the fact that hes the bad person, simply do not make the bad man bad. Make him a worthwhile opponent by providing him motives for his actions.
Villains do not see themselves as bad. They believe theyre ideal! A fully rounded bad man is a lot more memorable and practical.
Depending upon the length of your story, you may likewise require crucial orbital cast members.
For each, ask:.

Withstand the urge to explicitly specify your theme. Simply inform your story and let it explore your style and make its own point.
Give your readers some credit, theyre wise. Subtly weave it into the story and trust them to get it. Dont rob them of their part of the writing/reading experience.
They may remember your plot, however ideally you want them to think long about your style.
2– Characters.
Im talking credible characters who feel knowable.
Your primary character is the protagonist, also called the lead or hero/heroine.
The protagonist should have:.

redeemable human defects.
potentially heroic qualities that emerge in the climax.
a character arc (he must be a different, better, stronger individual by the end).

What message do you wish to convey?.
What will it teach the reader about life?.

What do they want?
What or who is keeping them from getting it?
What will they do about it?

The primary rule is one point of view character per scene, but I prefer just one per chapter, and preferably one per novel.
Readers experience everything in your story from this characters viewpoint. (No hopping into the heads of other characters.) What your POV character sees, hears, touches, smells, tastes, and thinks is all you can communicate.
Some writers think this restricts them to First Person, but it doesnt.
Most books are written in Third Person Limited: one point of view character at a time, normally the one with the most at stake.
Writing your novel in First Person makes it easiest to restrict yourself to that one point of view character, but Third-Person Limited is most popular for a reason.
Check out current popular fiction to see how the bestsellers do it.
Point of View can be confusing, but its foundational. Ignore it at your hazard.
5– Plot.
Plot is the sequence of occasions that make up a story. Its what forces your reader to either keep turning the pages, or set the book aside.
Think of plot as the story of your book.
A successful story responses two questions:.

How efficiently you produce drama, intrigue, stress, and dispute, identifies whether you can grab readers from the start and keep them to the end.
6– Conflict.

The more difficulties your characters deal with, the more relatable they are.
Much as in real life, the most difficult challenges change the many.
3– Setting.

What occurs? (Plot).

An Opener.
An Inciting Incident that alters everything.
A series of crises that build tension.
A Climax.
A Resolution (or Conclusion).

What does it suggest? (Theme; see # 1 above– its fundamental).

This may consist of time, area, or age, however it needs to likewise include how things look, smell, taste, feel, and noise.
Completely research study details about your setting, however remember this is the seasoning, not the main course. The main dish is the story itself.
But, beware. Acquisitions and agents editors inform me among the greatest errors beginning authors make is feeling they must begin by explaining the setting.
Its crucial, dont get me wrong. A sure way to put readers to sleep is to guarantee a thrilling story on the cover– only to begin with some variation of:.
Your home sat in a deep wood surrounded by …
Dont.
Rather than explaining the setting, discreetly layer it into your story.
Program readers your setting, dont tell them.
Do this, and what things feel and look and sound like subtly register in the theater of the readers minds while theyre concentrating on the action, the discussion, the stress, the drama, and conflict that keep them turning the pages.
4– Point of View.
To determine Point of View (POV) for your story, decide two things:.

Discreetly weave it into the story and trust them to get it. Resist the temptation to create an ideal lead character. Readers experience everything in your story from this characters point of view. What your POV character sees, hears, touches, smells, tastes, and thinks is all you can communicate.
Readers will keep turning the pages to find out.

the voice you will utilize to write your story: First Person (I, me), Second Person (you, your), or Third Person (he, she or it), and.
who will act as your storys camera?

Conflict is the engine of fiction and is crucial to reliable nonfiction as well.
Readers long for conflict and long to see what results from it.
Youll rapidly bore your reader– a cardinal sin if everything in your plot is going well and everybody is agreeing.
Are 2 characters talking amiably?
Have one say something that makes the other storm out, revealing a deep-seeded rift in their relationship.
What is it? Whats behind it? Readers will keep turning the pages to discover out.
7– Resolution.
Whether youre an Outliner or a Pantser like me (one who composes by the seat of your pants), you must have a concept where your story is going and think about your ending every day.
How you expect the story to end need to notify every scene and chapter. It might change, evolve, grow as you and your characters experience the unavoidable arcs, but never ever leave it to opportunity.
Keep your lead character center stage to the very end. Whatever he learns through all the problems that emerge from his attempting to repair the dreadful difficulty you plunged him into should, in the end, make him rise to the occasion.
If you come up to the end and feel somethings missing, do not hurry. Give it a few days, a few weeks if needed.
Go through everything youve written. Take a long walk. Think on it. Sleep on it. Jot keeps in mind about it. Let your subconscious work on it. Play what-if games. Be outrageous if you must. But provide a rewarding ending that resonates.
Give your readers a payoff for their investment by making it extraordinary. Do this by grabbing the heart.
Readers enjoy to be informed and even amused, but they always remember being emotionally moved.
You Can Do This.
Focus on these 7 story elements, and when youre ready to dig much deeper, click on this link to read my 12-step procedure for How to Write a Novel.

Composing coaches call story structures by different names, but theyre all mainly similar. All story structures include some variation of:.

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