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Story Writing
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Here's a worksheet we hope will help you with story creation.









     1. A character,

     2. In a situation,

     3. With a problem,





     4. Makes an intelligent effort to solve the problem, and

     5. Fails.

     (Repeat as necessary to build tension, suspense, etc.)





     6. The character finally succeeds (or fails ultimately) in solving the problem.


     7. Validation. ("He's dead, Jim." "The Force will be with you, always." "Tomorrow is another day.") NOTE: When writing about an anti-hero, replace steps 4 and 5 with "Protagonist keeps getting closer and closer to victory;" and step 6 with "Protagonist goes down in flames." Validation for the anti-hero may be a triumph of spirit, as with Randle Patrick McMurphy in ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST.




This seven-point structure doesn't mention setting, but that's assumed to be part of the character's situation.


Conflict, perhaps one of fiction's most important qualities, springs from the character's inability to solve his problem. Conflict also springs up between characters with different outlooks, goals and temperaments ("Your actions are not logical, Dr. McCoy." "I'm a doctor, not a computer, Spock!").


You'd be surprised how often the seven-point structure applies to stories, from classics like HAMLET all the way up to the movie DIE HARD.