The previous blog discussed story by outlining what it is and is not. Today, we're going to address the main building blocks of a story: story elements. Every story regardless of the genre or medium contains basic elements that form the foundation. For the sake of time, I will address the first three elements in this blog.
Setting answers the question of when and where a story occurs. Does your story takes place in eighteen century England during the heart of the Industrial Revolution where people attended lavish tea parties and operas while others died from malnutrition and diseases?
Characters are the people, places, and things readers either fall in love with or love to hate. Using the eighteen-century example, perhaps you describe your characters as women who wore bodices with hooped petticoats and men who dressed in breeches and stockings.
Plot deals with the events in a story; the beginning, the middle, and the end. In other words, plot involves the actual events that occur throughout a story. For example, I might write a story about an eighteen-century woman who is rich but struggles with being visible. The plot could be the events of her status as a wealthy person, her frustration at not being taken seriously, and her attempt to change the status quo.
Writers must consider how setting, characters, and plot will play a role in their story. Failing to thoroughly consider either will result in a lack luster story readers could care less about. Here are a few questions to think about. When and where will your story take place? Who will be your characters, and what events/activities will take place?
Stay tuned for the second part of this conversation called, "Story Elements: Part II," where I will discuss the final two elements (conflict and resolution).