09 April 2010

Back to Basics

When writing stories, I find it helps to periodically go back to basics.
Don't worry! This post isn't motivated by the Electric Spec slush.
Okay, I'm lying it is. :)

A story needs to have 4 parts at its most basic:

  • A protagonist. I'm not going to say a person here, because it could be an extraterrestrial or a werewolf or whatever in speculative fiction.
  • A goal. The protagonist needs to be motivated. He/she/it needs to need something and the reader needs to know. I'm sure authors know what this is for their stories...they just don't always get onto the page.
  • A conflict. Something or someone has to oppose the protagonist in getting the goal.
  • A resolution. This is the ending and it can be positive or negative or whatever, but it must exist.

So, there you have it: the components of a story. What could be easier than putting these four little pieces together? Ha.
I know, the devil is in the details. :)

Six days until the May issue submission deadline!

What do you think is the most important part of a story? How about the most basic?

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