Friday, November 9, 2007

Basic Story Formula

As promised, here are some of the notes I took during the writing class for kids held at The Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow last Friday. The instructor, Marian Szczepanski, broke everything down quite well for eager young writers, and some of these concepts may be old news to those of us who have been writing for a while, but it never hurts to take a refresher course.

Basic Story Formula

The 3 Ps

Person - description, desires, friends/family, enemies/antagonists; as the story progresses, include "movie extras" as needed to flesh out the rest of the population

Place - affects person and problem, and can become a character of its own

Problem - what person wants but is prevented from or finds difficulty in obtaining

Essential Extras


Secrets - doled out sparingly, and thus keeping the suspense, rather than being dumped all at once


More later about the whole rollercoaster analogy, also a familiar concept with long-time writers, but a good reminder, especially in November while many of us around the world are typing away on our NaNo offerings!


Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing this! I have a tough time with secrets, I wanna tell everything up front!


I need to make copies of the formula and take it to my writers group as a reminder that, honest upstanding folk that we are in our civilian lives, when we don our masks and superhero writer capes, we need to learn how to keep a secret! And when to reveal it.