I searched in Google recently for “elements of a story.” The many results were dominated by topics like:
- The 3 parts of a story;
- The 4 elements of a story;
- The 5 steps of a plot;
- The 7 (or the 8 or the 12 or the 17) stages of the Hero’s Journey.
I read quite a few of these articles (and even a few books on Amazon) about the parts of finished stories. Interestingly, they all seemed to assume that knowledge of these parts is essential to making a story.
Don’t get me wrong: I am not saying that these lists of story elements are useless. But I object to the idea that simply knowing them helps us create stories. In fact, they can easily get in the way.