|Stories - Part One: Creating Stories|
Any sequence of events with a beginning, middle, and an end makes up a story, but it would not be a very interesting story unless it had a dramatic twist of some sort so the end could not be anticipated. If it is sad, then the story is a tragedy. If it is happy then the story is a comedy.
A 'dramatic twist' is a point where the storyline takes an unexpected turn, and the reader is not sure what is going to happen next. Here is a simple storyline being developed:
This is a story, but not a very interesting one. It has a beginning with the objective of my wanting a cup of tea. It has a slight dramatic turn in the middle when I discover I have no milk and have to take action to resolve it. It ends when I get the milk, and then make my tea.
This story creates another line of thought. It has the same beginning of my wanting a cup of tea. It has the same twist where I have to go to my neighbour to get some milk, but there is a new dramatic turn when the stranger comes to the door and acts in an unfriendly way. The story cannot end there. It would not be satisfying to say "I then went to another neighbour and got some milk" because the reader is more interested in who the stranger was.
The story line can be developed visually:
This diagram simply tells you that the situation needs to be resolved, and that action has to be taken to resolve it. But there is a 'Decision' stage in between the Situation and the Action.
The 'Decision' stage is very important, as there may be various options that are available, and they come before the decision to take action. The diagram can now be expanded.
So, the story starts out with the objective my wanting to get some milk, but then the objective changes to my wanting to find out what happened to my neighbour. A good story has many dramatic twists and turns, and often has 'counterpoint' stories going on at the same time.
The storyline could end with borrowing milk from my neighbour, but as there seems to be something odd going on, the storyline changes and becomes:
The 'end action' of the first sequence becomes the starting situation of the second sequence.
Email: email@example.com. Page last updated:
© 2002-2009 Stan Hayward. All rights reserved.