What exactly is a Story?
As human beings, we live in a story all of the time. Story is as natural and essential to us as breathing. We all have stories to tell, but telling our personal stories on a daily basis and constructing a story from scratch are two very different things. Usually when we tell stories on a daily basis, we are relating events to one or two other people. On the other hand, when constructing story, we are trying to communicate with a mass audience. When we tell stories to a friend it is because it is important to us or to them. We are connected and moved emotionally because it is personal. When we construct story, we are moving not just an individual, but an audience. The goal then becomes to make the personal universal.
But what is a Story?
As Karl Iglesias put it “A story has someone who wants something badly and is having trouble getting it”.
The above determines three elements: character, character goal, and conflict. Without these elements, any story cannot exist.
1. Character: The Hero, whom the story is about and through whose eyes the story is told.
2. Goal: This is the physical object the hero wants to obtain: the princess, the
treasure, the girl, the recognition, and so on.
3. Conflict: Conflict is what is between the character and his goal. There are three forms
• Character vs. Character
• Character vs. Environment
• Character vs. Self
Conflicts create problems, obstacles, and dilemmas that place the hero in some form of danger, either physically, mentally or spiritually. This means that there will be something at stake for the hero if they do not overcome the conflict.