6 Elements of a Good Story
If you have an interesting narrative idea and want to translate it into the best story possible, you must be mindful of a few key elements that appear throughout the best fiction and nonfiction writing. Whether you’re writing a novel or a short story, these common elements are:
- A natural arc from the beginning to the end of the story: From inciting action and rising action to climax and denouement, a good plot has defined story structure and maintains steady momentum.
- A clear narrative voice: Whether you write in first person or third person, a story’s overall tone has a lot to do with the voice of its narrator.
- A sense of genre: You could be writing a thriller, a satire, a romance, or a sci-fi epic, but they’re all united by clear genre elements. Choosing a genre can also help make a book marketable to audiences who may not know you, and this can really help if you end up pursuing self-publishing.
- Compelling characters: Strong characters keep your audience invested. Imbue your main character with an internal conflict that drives their external struggle.
- A structured storyline: Keeping your narrative organized and logically flowing will help you hold onto readers through all parts of your story. In this sense, fiction writing can borrow elements of journalism.
- An insightful theme: Consider what ideas you want your reader to keep thinking about long after they’ve forgotten the specific plot of your book.
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