I mentioned the power of story when I wrote about serving up stories and Phillip Margolin, a master of suspense novels and one of the most entertaining authors I've ever heard. And he's the only author I've seen who never really mentioned his recent book(sitting on display close by.) But he told the most fascinating narrative about his own journey and with such enthusiasm, I felt like I knew him. I had to get his book, and now I'm now a big fan.
The problem with story is many writing coaches stress the power of it, but few discuss it's basic elements. As a result bloggers and free lance writers often tell only half stories or anecdotes or scenes leaving readers only partially satisfied like a bad meal.
Many people suggest reading Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces, but if you just want the Cliff Notes edition because you want to write a compelling blog post or a short story, here are the seven elements I learned one year from a screenwriter at Write On the Sound, a writers' conference in Edmonds, Washington.
1. Once upon a time . . .
2. And everyday . . .
3. Until one day . . .
4. And because of this . . .
5. And because of this . . .
6. Until finally . . .
7. And ever since that day . . .
This is the bare bones structure your story should have. Use it as your cheat sheet to see if you've actually told a story and let me know how it the story ends.