Have you ever woken up to an idea that just wouldn't leave you alone until you at least started working on it? That happened to me last week, and the idea has been buzzing around in my brain ever since.
I want to make a Periodic Table of Storytelling elements.
Now, as it turns out, someone has already done this, and very well, too. The image here depicted shows the Periodic Table of Storytelling, constructed by James Harris (the image itself is a link to his website, if this interests you, I encourage you to go take a look).
I did a little bit of research into "essential storytelling elements," to see what I came up with. After all, maybe there had been some sort of consensus on the topic since I graduated college 6 years ago.
No one has.
In a total of 15 websites, each claiming to contain the 5 (or 7, or 4, or 10) elements every story must contain, none of them agreed with one another. Some shared elements (like an inciting incident, conflict, climax, and falling action) but most didn't even have that much in common with their fellows.
In the Periodic Table above, the "elements" are tropes; that is, commonly used or overused elements in media, usually from anime. It's extremely useful as a grab-bag of traits that can be put together in any configuration to make a story.
But it's not exactly what I was looking for. So, for the next little while, I intend to switch back and forth between writing prompts and articles concerning the core elements of a story, and how they allow us to explore through the world of fiction.
You lot are the sparks that have lit this fire in my brain. You have no one but yourselves to thank. ;)
Wish me luck!
If you have any suggestions, requests, or comments, please let me know! Feedback is LIFE!