- A story begins with somebody who wants something. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that. We start off wanting to write about a girl and her horse, but what does the girl want? A really famous writer once said, everyone needs to want something, even if it’s only a glass of water. It’s really good to have a character who wants something in opposition to what another character wants. Because…
- You need obstacles that the main character can overcome. The girl starts off wanting a horse, but you have to give her obstacles to getting that horse. An obstacle should lead to other obstacles.
- Details are really important in story. You create a scene that the reader can see or the listener can be part of. The right amount of detail draws your reader into the story. Too much and you will lose their attention. Too little, and they won’t be able to picture what’s going on.
- Stories have repetition. The first time you mention something, it’s just a detail. The second time you realize there must be a reason it’s coming up. And the third time, you bring it in to show its significance.
- An Ending. At the ending, the character either will or will not achieve their objective. It ties up the story threads and lets the reader know they’re done.
As a storyteller, you have to do certain things for the listener and reader, because people have an intuitive need for things to happen a certain way.
Mark Jay Harris
Mark lives in Smithfield, Utah with his wife and 5 children.