Jump to content

What element do you always include or must have in your stories?


Superpride

Recommended Posts

Hello!  My question to all you writers is what element do you always include and must have in your stories before you begin writing them?  For me, the story has to have a romance between the main character and another character.  It is a must for me.  This also translates to the stories that I read from other authors and even video games that allow you to romance other characters like the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series developed by Bioware.  Also, my stories always have to include a supernatural element for me to even consider the story since it is like escapism from the mundane, modern world.  So, that's me.  What about you all?

  • Like 5
Link to comment

I seem to have a lot of Rich characters in my stories. Either filthy rich, or well off and comfortable. Like you said, its part escapism for me to write, and well, I'm dirt poor in real life.

  • Like 5
Link to comment

There is usually romance in my longer pieces, not always in my shorter ones. There are things you will often find in some stories.. references to healthy eating,  grilled cheese and tomato soup...things like that.  They are things i like.. Often there are jeeps and big men...more things i have in my life.  hehe

  • Like 3
  • Love 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
2 hours ago, BHopper2 said:

I seem to have a lot of Rich characters in my stories. Either filthy rich, or well off and comfortable. Like you said, its part escapism for me to write, and well, I'm dirt poor in real life.

 

I can relate.  With some of my older stories that I have not posted here, I had a character or two who would have things that I don't, like a collection of some sort.  Then I would go into great detail about what the collection is, what is looks like, how many there are, etc.  I stopped doing that just because it distracted away from the main plot of the story, and it really did not serve any purpose other than make me feel envious of my own characters LOL

  • Like 2
Link to comment
2 hours ago, Mikiesboy said:

There is usually romance in my longer pieces, not always in my shorter ones. There are things you will often find in some stories.. references to healthy eating,  grilled cheese and tomato soup...things like that.  They are things i like.. Often there are jeeps and big men...more things i have in my life.  hehe

 

Yeah, you'll often find the romantic interest of the main character of my stories here and other stories that I have not posted having dark hair and some scruff 😉

  • Like 2
Link to comment
  • Site Administrator

I don't always include any 'just one element' sort of like a signature plot/setting/character device, but what I think a lot of people forget to add into their stories is scent. We all know to share the setting through the characters' senses whenever possible, but so often the focus is on sight, hearing, touch, taste, etc... Sometimes people include cologne/perfumes, or sex smells, but there's so much more to explore. Clean pillowcase/sheets just washed versus ones with the faint scent of a lover's deodorant/body wash, their own spicy/zesty/basic ivory soap or body wash in the shower after a long, tiring day. The mint of toothpaste just before brushing. The sharp ozone of a lightning storm on a summer's night. The warm dirty and wet grass or hot asphalt after the rain. Dinner of stew in the crockpot when they come home exhausted and freezing in the dead of winter. A favorite childhood drink enjoyed again as a treat as an adult. A bakery/restaurant when they're on a diet or homeless. The bitter musk of garbage with a tang of sour milk when walking behind the grocery store on a break to fire up a joint. The boy's locker room with dirty socks, shoes, and BO. The girls locker room of sweaty socks and cheap perfume/body spray. 

 

And then we think about how certain smells that are more specific evoke memory. For me, Scotch tape reminds me of Christmas far more than pine. Old Spice reminds me of my dad when I was little. Grits and ham, my grandma and southern breakfasts on summer mornings. Horses/sheep, helping at my best friend's barn/4H/horse shows. Lilac and mint, for the tree we had by the house and the garden where we'd pick leaves on our way to the bus stop to chew up and spit out. And most moms with older kids can sniff new babies for hours--until the stinky smells come out and we're quick to hand them back, lol. 

 

So, if I had to pick what element I always include/must have, it needs to be scent and some sort of memory--both making them and remembering them--that has to do with the sense.  

  • Like 4
Link to comment
  • Site Administrator

My stories tend to have 2 elements all the time...

  1. There is always something beyond normal... either science fiction or fantasy.
  2. Almost always there is a rich and/or powerful person in there.  Sometimes a lot of them
23 hours ago, BHopper2 said:

Like you said, its part escapism for me to write, and well, I'm dirt poor in real life.

It is definitely escapism and I don't like writing about the ordinary anyway.  I grew up not having much. I'm happy these days, but I worked to get here. *shrugs*

I'll be leaning more and more fantasy in my writing since work is too much like sci-fi these days. lol.

 

  • Like 2
  • Love 1
Link to comment

For me, I am writing a romance novel. That means I am writing a book with romantic elements to it. However, I am trying to doing in a different being adding racial, intellectual, and historical elements to it. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment

For a long time I always had a female character of some kind in my stories, usually a friend or a sister.  I have just now started to write stories without it.  It's weird.  

  • Like 3
Link to comment

No must-haves, each story's different. However, I do tend to write about strong people. My characters don't wallow in angst or regrets; they face problems and look for solutions. Oh, and I don't do romance, just ask any of my readers! 😁

  • Like 2
  • Wow 1
Link to comment
48 minutes ago, Carlos Hazday said:

No must-haves, each story's different. However, I do tend to write about strong people. My characters don't wallow in angst or regrets; they face problems and look for solutions. Oh, and I don't do romance, just ask any of my readers! 😁

Oh C ... no, you don't do lurve at all ... not never.  :heart: 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
2 minutes ago, Mikiesboy said:

Oh C ... no, you don't do lurve at all ... not never.  :heart: 

 

LMAO!

 

My kids were just accused of cheating and it was suggested they shouldn't get married so I think that means I don't do romance.

  • Like 1
  • Wow 1
Link to comment
9 minutes ago, Carlos Hazday said:

 

LMAO!

 

My kids were just accused of cheating and it was suggested they shouldn't get married so I think that means I don't do romance.

Oh bah humbug, C!!!   i have to catch up!!  Sorry about that, i've been busy writing.. i will read the chapters i've missed.  What is 'cheating'?  One day people will learn that love and sex are not remotely the same thing. I have a LOT of experience that showed me that. I suppose Cheating is the lying to your partner part.  I am glad that Michael and i no longer have that issue.

  • Like 2
  • Love 2
Link to comment
On 6/7/2018 at 7:11 PM, Myr said:

My stories tend to have 2 elements all the time...

  1. There is always something beyond normal... either science fiction or fantasy.
  2. Almost always there is a rich and/or powerful person in there.  Sometimes a lot of them

It is definitely escapism and I don't like writing about the ordinary anyway.  I grew up not having much. I'm happy these days, but I worked to get here. *shrugs*

I'll be leaning more and more fantasy in my writing since work is too much like sci-fi these days. lol.

 

I was thinking that I didn't have a lot of wealthy people in my stories, then I went back and checked and there are characters who are pretty well off in like 9 of them.  

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
On ‎6‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 9:53 PM, Pmsingtiger said:

The wow factor? I think that's what I'd call it. I want people to say "I didn't see that coming" 

 

You mean a twist?  If so, then I definitely have to those in my stories, or a very eye-opening revelation about today's world or humanity itself that I'm trying to convey right now with my story Hero Wanted.

  • Like 2
  • Love 1
Link to comment
On ‎6‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 3:28 PM, CassieQ said:

I was thinking that I didn't have a lot of wealthy people in my stories, then I went back and checked and there are characters who are pretty well off in like 9 of them.  

 

For me, at least one of my characters are always well off, considering I've been raised mostly in a middle-class setting, thanks to my hard-working parents.  I also think it opens up the discussion about how to accurately portray a character of a different class, for example, when you yourself have not lived that life.  I assume most people do this by knowing people in their personal lives who are poor, rich, or somewhere in between, or doing a lot research whether it is online or from other works of literature and media.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
On ‎6‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 11:41 PM, CassieQ said:

For a long time I always had a female character of some kind in my stories, usually a friend or a sister.  I have just now started to write stories without it.  It's weird.  

 

Yeah, for me, my stories usually have a strained relationship between the main character and his father, while he has a closer connection to a female friend or family member since I have experience with this myself.  However, I want to change that up a bit with the father, though not perfect, is still a caring parental figure to the main character since I don't think men don't get as much credit for being a parent in a child's life.  But that's just my opinion.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
On ‎6‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 8:48 PM, Larry Davis said:

For me, I am writing a romance novel. That means I am writing a book with romantic elements to it. However, I am trying to doing in a different being adding racial, intellectual, and historical elements to it. 

 

That sounds great!  What I want to add is that when you include these elements to the romance of your story, the relationship ultimately has be real or believable, so the elements work effectively.  I gained that piece of wisdom today from another topic in this club, and I believe that is very true.  How you make it real is through your creativity.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

I've not written a whole lot—in fact, any on GA yet—to be able to say for sure what it is I require in my stories. While I may not have developed a distinct criteria and style, all my attempts in writing are very focused on the audience.

 

To focus on audience means that after finding an inspiration, I first think about what it is I want my readers to feel after they have finished the story. What is it I wish to express to them? To put it simply, what I must have in my story is a core theme, idea or some other meaning I want to convey. After the main themes are established, I then branch out and start to consider characters, plot and setting and how a particular arrangement of these elements allow me to put forward these themes.

 

The one thing I prioritise the most in my works is immersion. I consider my stories successful if I feel like I am standing in the shoes of the protagonist when proofreading and not as an outsider. So yes, my stories must have some elements within to transport readers to another world. To do this, I aim to balance dialogue and description. Both are important, but I often find myself walking a tightrope of a balancing act between the two. Imagery is needed to develop the plot and setting. I'm methodical in building the fictional world so I incorporate quite a lot of these descriptions. I am aware this can be a problem as it can bore readers by being too long. Thus, one area I am focusing on improving in my writing is the switching between dialogue and description at regular intervals. Nevertheless, my stories need to have imagery and description—and a fair amount of it.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
18 minutes ago, FindThySky said:

Nevertheless, my stories need to have imagery and description—and a fair amount of it.

 

Doesn't always have to be narration.  I use dialogue and have the characters describe their surroundings often. Much more dynamic that simple narration.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
1 minute ago, Carlos Hazday said:

 

Doesn't always have to be narration.  I use dialogue and have the characters describe their surroundings often. Much more dynamic that simple narration.

Yup, that works fine too. Dialogue isn't my strong point, unfortunately. I struggle in making speech seem natural and flow in a rhythm. l plan to trial something of this nature in my upcoming story and hopefully some of the more confident writers can assess it once it's complete.

  • Like 3
Link to comment

I moved to a foreign country when I was young, so I suppose that's something I always need to have when I write. I guess it's even excessive 🤔

People or people whose parents who have emigrated from somewhere else. I love to have people from all over the world, often with different languages. It's quite dear to my heart. ^_^
A lot of the time my story features twins in some capacity, again a topic very dear to my heart. That's something I always put in for myself. 😄

  • Like 3
Link to comment
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here: Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..