It’s All About the How

With most stories, you already know how they’re going to turn out before they begin.  In general, the good guys are going to win.  If Bob needs to get the magic saddle, you know that by the end of the story he probably will.  Unless you’re reading Stephen King, of course.  But that’s not really what stories are about.  Stories aren’t about what happens, they’re really about how it happens.  How is the good guy going to win?  What steps and challenges will he have to face and overcome along the way?

The what is pretty simple, and can usually be described in just a sentence or two.  Bob needs to get the magic saddle.  He does.  But how does he get the magic saddle?  Ah, now there’s the story.


3 comments on “It’s All About the How

    • While the why is also important, I would put the why as a subset of the what, and it generally only adds one more sentence, if that. Such as, Bob must get the magic saddle to free his sister from the warlock.

      Then the why must be explained with the how, which is what makes up the story.

      • Agreed. There’s an old EM Forster quote about this. A story is: The queen died. The king died. A plot is: The queen died. The king died of grief. Or something like that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s