Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Writerly Wednesday - The 5 ESSENTIAL Story Ingredients!!

Again, I stumbled upon an article in Writer's Digest, written by Steven James about the 5 essential story ingredients.  You can (and I HIGHLY encourage you to) read the full article by clicking HERE.  He boils his idea down to this:

Story Trumps Structure

What do you think about that?  Can you throw your ideas of structuring a story with a beginning, middle, and end and/or predetermined plot points and bake a cake instead?  Have I lost you? 

OK, so this story of yours/mine - should have these 5 essential ingredients:

Ingredient # 1:  Orientation

Ingredient # 2:  Crisis

Ingredient # 3:  Escalation

Ingredient #4:  Discovery

Ingredient #5: Change

And like baking a cake....


We can all start out with the same basic story ingredients, but end up with a wonderful variation of the final product.  Of course - like cake, if you leave an essential ingredient out, the cake falls flat.  Granted - you can tell me that a "recipe" has a beginning, middle, and end.  But, the choices you make with your ingredients are going to have a MUCH bigger impact on your cake/story than the fact that you can follow a recipe from point A. to point C.

Read the article.  It explains these essential 5 ingredients much better than I can.  And then tell me what you think?  Go on ~ I'll wait.  :)

Happy Writerly Wednesday!! 


Donna K. Weaver said...

Love the cake reference. And depending upon who has the ingredients makes a huge different on the outcome.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The ingredients make sense.

Jess said...

Love it (and that cake photo is so cute)!

Madeleine said...

I like the wording for the 5 elements, it brings it home in a new way. Love the cake too. cute :O)

Lenny Lee* said...

hi miss donea! wow! cool recipe for cooking up a neat story. you could use different ingredients and still get a good tasting cake.
...hugs from lenny

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It's a basic description, but it does cover everything.

M Pax said...

Yummy, cake.

Writing is juggling so many balls, structure being one of them. I started writing short stories to practice them all.

Arlee Bird said...

I guess I accept more variation in stories than I do in cakes. I prefer chocolate cake with chocolate icing, but I'll actually try anything.

Tossing It Out

Ellie Garratt said...

I like how you compared it to baking a cake. I'm currently working through the three act structure to make scene notes for my next WIP. My advice would be to use such a structure to keep your story on track, but don't be afraid to break it!

Ellie Garratt