What a Story Needs

Every good story is built around a problem, a conflict, or a challenge for its protagonist. The reader will root for him, agonize over his setbacks, and rejoice in his eventual triumph.

Who is telling the story? The beginning introduces the main character in action and sets up the story problem. Therefore, the main character or protagonist only knows what he experiences or is told about. Convey other characters through the protagonist’s eyes. The middle of the story shows the character tackling the problem. The dramatic high point is the climax of the story. The ending resolves the problem.

Dialogue brings the character to life. It also moves the story forward. Tell the story from the protagonist’s point of view to create a strong sense of identification. In a sense, the reader becomes the hero.


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