Post #2: The 14 Elements of Story

I do hope Katie will share some more of her wisdom, this sounds engaging.

THAT KATIE COONEY

“What are the essential elements of a good book?”

Two years ago, if I’d been asked that, I would have babbled the following example of rapier wit: “Uh, conflict? Characters? Oh, plot too! And a strong theme.” (I would’ve tacked on theme to sound extra knowledgeable and impressive.)

“And why are they essential? What do those terms mean? How do you create them? What makes them essential?”

To this, I would’ve responded by ripping up my notebook, throwing it into the air, then vanishing in a cloud of crappy writing.

I knew the terms. But I didn’t have a clue what they meant. I somehow believed that knowing them was enough. This is ludicrous to say, but it didn’t feel ludicrous. While reading a book or watching a movie, we instinctively know what’s good and what’s bad; consuming stories is as natural as breathing. So learning that we don’t understand…

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