A blog about writing and all things story…
This article is so good for writers to read and understand I had to reblog. Enjoy.
A story is born when an event, known as an inciting incident, disturbs a character’s deeply held beliefs or values. There’s more to it than that, of course. Characters persist in a state of deprivation. They have unmet needs. Repressed desires. Subtext, history. No character walks onto the story’s stage without carrying a heavy load of this baggage. But, until the bad thing– lightning strikes, the gun fires, the lover says the unsayable thing –disturbs a core value, there is no story.
Consider an example. In Olive Kitteridge, an Elizabeth Strout novel composed of connected stories, in “A Different Road,” we meet Olive and Henry, middle-aged, long-time marrieds in the throes of reacting to a terrible event. Eventually we learn that they were attacked and held hostage by a gunman in a hospital during a drug robbery. At the opening, we only see the change, or reversal that…
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