Story Premise Element #1: Protagonist
Every story starts with character–and not just any character, but the character.
- Whose emotional and physical journey will you be following?
- Who has the most at stake?
- Whom do you find the most interesting?
- Who inspired this plot?
- Or–if the plot idea came first–who will be most suited to taking full advantage of its possibilities?
Story Premise Element #2: Situation
Situation is the first kernel of your plot. This is the status quo in which your protagonist finds himself in the beginning of the story.
- What is the hero’s personal condition at the beginning?
- How will that condition be changed, for better or worse, by the hero himself or by the antagonistic force?
Story Premise Element #3: Objective
A protagonist has no business showing on the page without an objective. If he doesn’t want something and want it badly enough to do just about anything to achieve it over the next couple hundred pages, then he doesn’t deserve to have a story told about him.
- At the beginning of the story, what does the hero want?
- What moral (or immoral) choice is he going to have to make in his attempt to gain that objective?
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