We’re going to put together three basic things without which a story can’t exist (without, that is, great and sometimes gloriously perverse efforts by the writer).
These things will, when I first describe them, almost certainly seem to you very oversimplified. (And perhaps familiar, if you have looked at the Starting to Write course. But the approach here is slightly different. We’re fixing stories, not starting them.) I am not, here, writing in the language of sophisticated literary criticism.
Exercise: I would like you to write two sentences, the first beginning:
A story is…
And the second beginning:
A story can’t do without…
As I said, the can’t do without involves three things – plus one more that we’ll think about a lot more later on.
You have five minutes in total. Don’t overthink it. In fact, try to underthink it. Don’t be sophisticated. Think in the most basic way you can. Building blocks, not paint colours or lighting effects.
And don’t, whatever you do, use the word ‘journey’.
Continue here when you’re ready.