1 – Advanced Writing
A story is about a character that is trying to solve a problem. People tend to go through the same steps when they approach their problems. All stories will go through these seven stages and along with the premise, these are the most important elements of storytelling.
Premise – This is your story stated in a single line. What is your story about?
Problem / Need – The Problem is the difficult situation your hero finds himself in at the beginning of the story. The Need is what your hero must learn or overcome in order to have a better life. Your hero should be in trouble right away. The Need is based on a deep weakness that is hurting the hero in every part of his life. A story where the hero is hurting others at the beginning is always better than one in which the hero is only hurting
Desire – The particular goal your hero wants to accomplish in the story. Give your hero a specific goal. The audience should know the exact moment when the hero succeeds or fails to reach the goal. Also, the bigger the goal, the more popular the story.
Opponent – The person competing with the hero for the goal. Make the opponent as powerful, or capable, as possible. Determine how each opponent is uniquely able to attack the great weakness of the hero.
Plan – The strategy, or set of guidelines, the hero uses to beat the opponent and win the goal. Be specific about the action steps the hero will use to beat the opponent. But also make sure the hero’s original plan does not work. The hero should dig deep to come up with a way to win.
Battle – The final conflict that decides who wins the goal. A good battle is also about whose values are superior. Make sure the battle is between the hero and the main opponent and that it is the biggest conflict in the story.
Self-Revelation – The hero learns how he has been wrong and fulfills his need. The self-revelation should be new information the hero learns about himself. Avoid platitudes. The self-revelation should be so profound it turns the hero toward a new way of life.
New Equilibrium – Everything is back to normal, but the hero has either grown or fallen after seeing the self-revelation. If the hero has grown, show him taking new moral action. If the hero has fallen, make sure it is justified by the power of the negative self-revelation.
The Anatomy of Story – Parts 1 & 2
The Anatomy of Story – Part 3
The Anatomy of Story – Part 4
More information can be gained by reading the book, “The Anatomy of Story” by John Truby, who is one of the foremost experts on storytelling today. Visit his website HERE.
Advanced writing involves a discovery of the best way to communicate your story to the audience. Different forms of storytelling will have unique story beats, other than the seven steps of classical structure.
The different forms are called, “Genres.”
There are ten main genres used in stories:
9. Science Fiction.
Get the free booklet, “John Truby’s Secrets of Genre” HERE.