What's in a Story?

A story (whether it be a short story, novel, play or narrative poem) has these elements:

  • A setting – the place in which the action takes place. Sometimes the setting itself becomes a character or is important in shaping the characters.
  • A protagonist – the main character, the one the reader is supposed to care about.
  • Wants/needs – the main characters need or want something and that drives the action; this can be something specific or something based on an emotion.
  • An antagonist – the opposing character, the one who prevents the protaganist from getting the thing he/she wants or has a competing interest.
  • A climax – the moment when the opposing forces meet.
  • A change – after the climax one of the characters needs to change.

From the YWP resource archive