On October 23rd, 2014, we updated our
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A good story is like a tasty soup. It follows a recipe with a handful of ingredients that all
blend together. In line with this, we are going to explore the different ingredients, or
elements, that the go in the stories to make it more appealing to the reader’s.
The Parts of a Story
The three main parts of a story are the CHARACTER, the SETTING, and
These three elements work together to hold your reader's interest.
CHARACTER: A person, animal or imaginary creature in your story. There are
usually one or two main characters. There can be many secondary characters too.
Make your characters interesting so that they hold your reader's interest.
Every character of the story place a part on how it will give the reader’s
Types of Characters:
1. Flat Characters. – are one dimensional ( Good Guy = Hero )
2. Round Characters. – have many sides to them ( Good/Bad )
3. Static Characters - never change
4. Dynamic Characters – change during the story ( Main Characters )
a. Protagonist – Main Character
b. Antagonist - Opposition to Protagonist
c. Foil – Character who provide contrast to Protagonist
SETTING: This is where your story takes place. The setting is a time - the future, the
past, or now. The setting is also the place - on the moon, in Chicago, at the
Whitehouse. The setting is an important part of your story.
ELEMENTS OF A STORY
Romance novel is similar a typical story that we can read in every book we know. It has its
on characters, setting and the plot of the novel.
The character of a romance novel is sometimes called the hero and the heroine or the prince
charming and his princess to be.
A story always has its exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and its resolution.
In exposition, the beginning of the story. The writer introduces his characters to the reader’s.
He also gives the reader’s a glimpse of the characters identity. It is also the part where the
writer gives his reader’s the description of the place where his characters would be moving.
Second part is the Rising Action, it is where the writer gives his story a twist on how to story
goes. Others call it as Initial Incident. Because this where the writer sets up conflict and
builds tension among his characters.
Third part is the Climax. It is the turning point or the high point of the story.
Fourth is the Falling Action. It is the wrapping part of the story. It where the reader’s give
the solution to the conflict he made within the characters.
Last part is the Resolution. It is the point of closure or ending of the story.
Types of Conflict:
Conflict is more than just a fight.
1. Man vs. Man – two humans in confrontation.
2. Man vs. Self – Internal conflict, struggle.
3. Man vs. Nature – Facing the elements or animals.
4. Man vs. Society – Going against social norms.
PLOT: The plot of your story tells the actions and events that take place in your
story. Your plot should have a beginning, a middle and an end. The plot tells the
events of your story in a logical order.
Theme – central concept
Always, that’s ALWAYS; remember to include the five senses in all parts of a
Most always, you will write the story from the point of view of your main character’s five
senses. If any other character must say something about the heat that’s about to make
them faint, this is a great way to have a person other than the main character contribute
to the description of a setting.
If your reader’s five senses are stimulated, you are more likely to immerse that reader in
The very first word or two should grab the reader’s attention.
In books written ages ago, it might have been okay to begin “The weather was
temperate. I was feeling good.” Today, this is a waste of eight first words. Today’s
readers want action or something to grab their attention to entice them to read further.
One of the most important tips for writing a story is to make sure you realize the value
of your very first words. They must grab the reader’s attention.
The beginnings are the most crucial parts of a story.
All the main characters should be revealed early on.
Oftentimes, when writing a book of some length, new characters are introduced late in a
story or plot. This seems only a crutch to get out of a dead-end plot situation to get the
story moving again. There can be no saviors dropping into a story, only characters
interacting together from near the beginning and carrying the plot toward conclusion.
In multi-genre writing, characters might pop up anywhere. Still, in order to make them
credible, they must have a reason for being included.
Important characteristics of each character should be exposed.
Not important is a visual run-down of what each character may look like. Most important
is to build each character’s personality.
It’s okay to state a few facts about their physical appearances, but it’s best done when
describing them in action. If some information doesn’t help the reader visualize the
character, or doesn’t apply to action to take place deeper in the story, leave it out.
An example: If a man never ties his shoelaces, only include something like that to
emphasize his lackadaisical attitude (that you’ve already established) and if, deeper into
the story, it’s what causes him to fall and break his neck. Otherwise, leave it out. Every
act, every word, must have a reason for being included in parts of a story.
The main dilemma of the entire story line should be introduced in the first
Of all the parts of a story, this one is crucial.
The main dilemma can also simply be strongly hinted at as long as it’s immediately and
progressively developed as the story moves along. The reader must see the succession
of events moving along as it reveals more and more of the dilemma.
I don’t advise stringing the reader along. Let them know the dilemma as soon as
possible. Otherwise, the reader may ask, “What’s the point.” They will put your book
down and may not pick it up again.
When writing a short story, unlike writing a book, the dilemma must be revealed as soon
Almost everything in the first chapter should be considered foreshadowing.
All the plot action and character traits are set-up to propel the rest of the story. I have
written a great article titled Foreshadowing, which deals with exactly that – better than I
can explain here in few words.
Keep in mind that all parts of a story must lead to another, must hint at the next event.
A future event should cause the reader to remember something that was said or done a
few pages or chapters back.
Foreshadowing gives the reader a sense of participation in the story, through thinking
before hand how the story goes. Hints or clues on what’s to come.
1. Builds suspense
2. Keeps you reading ( make narrator more believable )
One of the best tips for writing a story, whether short or book length, is to introduce
certain plot action early in a composition. That early action, or the action sequences,
should quietly suggest what’s to come later. This applies across the board to multi-genre
Great foreshadowing ties all the way down to the ending, through the great writing and
grammar, into the story climax and denouement.
Avid readers, especially, are wise to plot action. They can spot foreshadowing without
having to go back and read the sequence again. They can sense it in the set up. They
Subconsciously, a few readers may not realize foreshadowing has prepped them.
However, on a subconscious level, tight pre-planning keeps them wrapped up in the
Whether on a subconscious level or consciously, you want your readers to carry a feeling
of anticipation as they read through the stages of writing development that you have so
adeptly woven. The reader won’t be aware of writing rules and writing procedures. But
foreshadowing keeps them turning pages.
Irony – contrast between what appears true and what really is.
Three type of Irony:
1. Verbal- what is said vs what is meant.
2. Situational – happening that is opposite of what is expected,
3. Dramatic – reader know more about the character. Reveals to identity.
Tone – author’s attitude towards subject.