Five Essential Story Ingredients

Updated 2018, with the cover image and link to the 10th Anniversary Edition of Waiting for Westmoreland

Thanks, Richard Brownell for posting this on LinkedIn to remind us of some essential story ingredients needed for successful writing. The tips are contained in an article on Writer’s Digest, by Steven James. James begins his piece by asking  is the following a story:

Imagine that I’m telling you about my day and I say, “I woke up. I ate breakfast. I left for work.”

Of course it isn’t. From my own writing courses from a bygone time, I recall that a story needs exposition of a character who experiences a conflict. The crisis the character meets may be exacerbated by a weakness or a character flaw. The story arc proceeds through the protagonist discovering more about him or herself and finding the change required to resolve the difficulty. Rather than my explaining all that here, take a look at the item on Writer’s Digest at the link in the first paragraph. Of course, you can also see a real life example looking at my own memoir. Waiting for Westmoreland.

The cover of the Tenth Anniversary Edition of Waiting for Westmoreland