I really enjoyed the method of explanation. A story is comparable to a house and yes, the idea, the situations, the confrontations are all basic building blocks of that house.
Certain questions come up again and again at writing panels, on writing forums, and in writing discussion groups. A lot of those questions are about “ideas.” Where does a writer get ideas? How do you know an idea is worth writing? How do you translate your idea into a story? And so on.
I put the word “ideas” in quotes in that first mention because I believe the people who ask these questions have a profound misunderstanding of the meaning of the word. All words have different meanings depending on the context, of course, but I’m talking about something more than that. Because not only do the people who ask these questions misunderstand the word idea, they misunderstand the entire notion of story.
A story is not a collection of unique notions and eccentric characters presented in a series of shocking situations leading to a surprising ending. Some things we…
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