Original Fic Tip: Four Pillars of A Story
Today's fic tip comes from CS Lakin's blog and is a good brush up on the basics of story structure. She breaks it down into four pillars in this article.
Concept with a Kicker. You can’t just run with an idea or a basic premise. You need to create the kind of story concept that will make people excited to learn more about your novel just by hearing the one-line story concept you’ve come up with. Your story concept, all by its lonesome, should get people saying “wow.”
...Michael Hauge, screenwriting consultant and best-selling author of Writing Screenplays That Sell, encourages writers to come up with one sentence that tells your concept—and that sentence is all about the next pillar we looked at— the Protagonist with a Goal.
When you can write that one sentence to describe your story by expressing the protagonist’s goal with the emphasis on the kicker—or what makes your story so unique—you will be on track. And along with noting the protagonist and his goal, you need to identify the third pillar: the central Conflict with High Stakes.
...I agree with Hauge when he says every great story is about someone, not something. Every great story has one main character the reader roots for and cares about—a character with a visible goal that she strives to reach. It may sound simple—yes, it is! But you would be surprised how few novels I critique have this element in it at all.
The fourth pillar—Theme with a Heart—is the glue that holds the whole story together, for it’s what your novel is really about.
Now go forth and write!