How to write a great story?

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This Story is Great?

Answers from Elena Ornig

When readers are able to relate to the characters, their actions and reactions, the scene and the settings, and the conflict and final resolution, they will make only one conclusion: “This story is great!”

Writing a story is creating your final product from the beginning through to the end by understanding the structure, and the overall relationship of all the aspects of the story.

picture of question

Who or What; Where and When?

Regardless of what genre you are writing in – you will still follow the same structure: beginning, middle and end of the story.

For any story, a writer needs to answer a few vital questions: who or what; why and how; where and when?

Therefore let us go through each of the questions in order to see how it all unfolds.

Who or what – are the characters, the circumstances, the subjects or the objects of a story; one of which is the protagonist and the other is the antagonist. The protagonist, since early Greek’s dramas, is presented in a story as a main and dominant character with a leading role to play; or simply the main hero with a specific aim to achieve. The antagonist, regardless of who (character) or what (situation, subject or object) will play the opposite role by trying to prevent the protagonist from succeeding. This takes us straight away to one of the most important aspect of the story – a conflict, and the conflict will answer our next questions: why a conflict existed or developed, and how it is resolved. The last questions will set the scene of a story and will answer where and when this conflict took place.

Writing a great story is to discover what if often missing. What writers have to remember is that simply knowing the basic structure of the story and following all the important aspects of the story is not enough to write a great story.

So, what is often missing? The answer is simple- the relationship between the characters and the conflict they are involved in; between the characters and theme of the story; between the characters and settings, between the actions and reactions. The missing part is often the internal relationship between all aspects of a story or simply, how all things inter-relate with everything and how everything is relative to the reader.

Let me explain what I am trying to say here.  As we know, the theme of a story is the message from the author to the readers and therefore his or her central idea of the story; for example: “The truth will prevail” or “There is no such thing as an accident “or “Believe in yourself and never give up”. The situations are what the characters are facing, the actions that the characters take and the reactions of the characters to the situations; the settings that the characters are placed into will become the actual plot of the story. Therefore, the plot has to be relative to the theme of the author to make sense to the reader.

"Picture of writing"

Writing a great story is to discover what is often missing.

The plot will only be believable if it is relative to the theme. The characters, their actions and reactions, and the situations they are placed into by an author, have to be relative to the plot. For example: if a character is old man and doesn’t have a special power like superman, then he cannot be believable by jumping from one building to another across a street; if a character, as the protagonist, doesn’t care about truth but is making an attempt to prove that “The truth will prevail “, then where is the relationship to the theme?  So, the relativity between characters versus conflict versus plot versus theme must make sense based on believable relativity.

Now we can talk about the structure of a story, again keeping in mind that everything has to be relative.

In the beginning of the story the protagonist, driven by motive, is trying to solve a problem or conflict and the antagonist, driven by a different motive, is trying to stop, prevent or destroy the protagonist. The actions and reactions, as created by the author’s situations, become the events of the developing plot. The author, with his or her morals, ideas, messages, or simply the theme, evaluates everything that is happening in the actions and reactions of the characters and therefore leads the characters by intensifying the plot through the middle of the story towards final resolution. Just before the end, when it seems that the problem is unsolvable, or the conflict cannot be resolved, the protagonist makes a last attempt and “bingo”- the protagonist either succeeds or fails, but the conflict doesn’t exist anymore and the story ends.

"Writing relative story"

When everything is relative in the story – readers will believe in the story.

As simple as the actual structure of the story is- the author of any story has to remember relativity of the plot to the theme, and only then will it make sense to the readers. When everything is relative in the story – readers will believe in the story. When readers believe in the story they will be able to identify how it relates to them. When readers are able to relate to the characters, their actions and reactions, the scene and the settings, and the conflict and final resolution, they will make only one conclusion: “This story is great!”

My warmest regards,
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Written by Elena Ornig

Managing Director of Publishing Company "Julia Sophistique Pty Ltd". Committee member of Australian Computer Association GC Chapter. Member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Member of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland. Member of the IT Forum Gold Coast. Sponsor of the Helensvale Writers' Group, Gold Coast. Committee member of the Gold Coast Writers Association Honored VIP Member of STANFORD WHO'S WHO in America. Publisher, writer and blogger.

Website: http://www.elenaornig.com/

4 comments
  1. I enjoyed this post and it is a simple and straightforward explanation of what elements should be brought together to create a story. It is probably easier to read and recognize a good story than to write one, but having the structure outlined,as in this post,is certainly a useful resource that can help an aspiring writer to write better stories.

    Stories are such a great art form and have been with us since Man could communicate. Learning about the elements of a story will not only help writers write better stories but story tellers tell better stories as well.

  2. Oh, dear! It can drive crazy anyone but it is easy to fix.
    Under every remark you have options to do something with this comment. The best is to click edit before approval if you still want to publish them. Just delete part of the text that in-beaded into this comment ( like it was in your case and I am surprised why did you do that?). Than – click “update” comment or “approve” comment.
    You can also, use Akismet spam protection as I do and you will see straight away which comment is OK and which is a spam ( like it was in your case) and then you just click ” delete permanently” or put it in “trash” and delete later.
    In your case I left your comment as an example. So, thank you for your spam!

    My warmest regards,

  3. agree with your writing, writing stories not only can make a beautiful sentence. but the characters and plot of the story should be clear. if revealing the past (flashbacks) of course must have a relationship to the present. nice post.

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