Heart of the Story    

Step 3: The Heart of the Story

To write a gripping, moving story, you need to articulate ONE universal principle that is explored within the story. This is the element that causes the reader to return again and again to the story; the element that resonates deep within the reader. Yes, you can write a story without a universal principle, but if you do the story will disappear as soon as the reader puts it down. A clever Agatha Christie mystery is fun to read, but it doesn't resonate.

What is the message you want to get across that will resonate with the reader?

First, name the primary emotion or driving force of your story. Some examples are love, hate, forgiveness, anger, generosity, greed, humility, arrogance, friendship, misanthropy, courage, fear, truth, doubt, etc.

For example, let's say your story is about love. What sort of love? Love of a parent or child? Love for animals? Love that fails, or love that stands through everything?

Let's say your story is about GREAT love between lovers. How will you demonstrate this great love in your story? What is the most potent obstacle to lovers, or indeed to anyone? How about DEATH. In your story love will win because it is GREAT love, so the heart of your story becomes:


You've just described Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.


© 2011 Amy Deardon | www.amydeardon.com