Storytelling Elements - WHY


This week, we're introducing a new category, and one that I've looked forward to since the beginning of this project. This is easily my favorite category, and I think the reason will be relatively obvious:


Because I've wanted to use this graphic! Well, that and it's actually my favorite part of building a story (next to worldbuilding).

The WHY category will be dealing with the motivation behind the characters in your story, though we'll focus primarily on the protagonist, since that's who we spend the most time with. In a literal sense, we're answering the question: Why is my character doing this? Why is it important? When that question has no apparent answer, it can leave readers (players, viewers, listeners) feeling like the characters are flat and unrelatable.

I have found in my own stories that if I don't know why a character is doing something, then generally I'm making them do it because I need someone to do that thing and they don't have enough personality to argue with me. That's a problem. All my best characters argue with me. Ask just about any novelist, and they will tell you that characters are not there to fill their wishes, but they are there, inconveniently demanding that the writer pen their story, all the while merrily going about their business and changing things from the way the author originally thought the tale was supposed to go.

Because that's just what they do.

So for the next couple months, we'll be going through these various Reasons for your characters to do XYZ, and I look forward to hearing from you about all the Whys that I missed along the way. :)

Until next week, stay awesome, Inklings.

#Elements #Category

IF dragon logo tex.png

©2020 by Eleanor Taylor.

Contact me!

Make a Request

  • Patreon Logo Black
  • Tumblr - Black Circle
  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • goodreads icon black