I have honestly wrote 2 different posts for today and erased both of them. Apparently they weren't making the grade. OR... maybe the fact that my daughter tackled some unknowing child at church yesterday, has me a little out of sorts. Honestly - that girl is going to take over the world one day. I just have to channel her energy for good and not evil. So far... well, you heard about the tackling. *sigh*
I attended a fun class by EJ Patten at LTUE this year. It was called "Building a Bare Story." His first book, RETURN TO EXILE, just came out this fall. You can find it on Amazon, HERE.
I'm not going to go into all of that, but I'm going to show you the picture he shared with us.
Fun, right? Many of you may have seen something similar to this before. These are the 3 main elements in any story.
- Plot - WHAT is happening.
- Milieu - WHERE it's happening, WHEN it's happening, and WHY it's happening
- Characters - WHO it's happening to
Not all stories are created equal, and not all elements are given equal attention in a story. Go ahead... think of your favorite book. Which element is represented the strongest?
With a thriller, or mystery, something with suspense --- the "plot" is usually the main factor of that story. Everything else is just a pawn or piece of the puzzle, getting the story where it needs to go.
Romance you say? --- most likely the "characters." Right?
If you look at a dystopian or fantasy --- the "milieu" usually play a big role in those stories.
This isn't by the book. This is merely a generality of the types of stories. However - when writing, we need to have something going with each element. It may not be the key player or major theme to our book, but we always want to have more than one thing going on. That way, when one problem is solved, there is still another problem that they need to work on. One of the fun things about these elements is that they show you what the writer cares about.
In my current WIP, my strongest element is probably the characters. The story is based around them, although I hope the plot creates some suspense and surprises and the milieu keeps it interesting.
What element is the main focus of your MS?