Every great story has 10 essential elements, says story coach Michael Hauge. In yesterday’s post, I revealed the first five. To recap, a great story must have:
- A hero with a goal who will carry the story forward.
- A setup that shows his life before everything changed.
- Scenes that create empathy with the reader.
- An event or opportunity that pushes the story forward and creates a desire to change the status quo, and
- A new situation that pushes the hero to solve an immediate problem. In the midst of this problem, a new element must emerge:
6. Outer motivation – a visible goal or finish line that the hero wants to accomplish by the end of the story. This goal must be within the hero’s power to accomplish. As a story coach, Hauge focuses on this element. This is a fundamental element to know in order to answer the question, “What is your story about?” In the movie, Gravity, the heroine’s goal was, “I want to get home.” This outer motivation should be easily expressed in a single sentence. The clearer you can be about the visible goal of the hero, the better. The movie, Lincoln was built on one clear goal: End slavery. This goal must drive the story line all the way to the climax.
Along the way, the next element will come into play: Read more