4 Basic Story Building Blocks: Stories About Events #writerwednesday

It’s perfectly reasonable to say that every story is an event story considering the fact that “something” happens in every book.


Technically, that is true. However, just like the other three building blocks, stories about events make the event the story’s central concern.

Every story built around an event follows a specific pattern: the world is out of order, unbalanced, evil, in decay, and the story is about the effort to either restore or establish order. Your main character is involved in this effort and the story doesn’t end until they accomplish their goal.

The event story rises out of the human need to make sense of the things happening around us. 

It is born from the idea that some sort of order exists, but how much characterization needs to happen in an event story? It’s up to the author, but an event story can support either approach. Like, the stories about place, a well-developed character might overshadow the event and tract from its importance. While a strictly archetypal character may seem too skeletal and unable to support the event.

Another very effective approach is to assign secondary and tertiary characters in your event story with specific roles that will allow the event to have the powerful impact that you desire. Telling the story from multiple points of view would be useful as well. This process can often introduce more story possibilities so that the vent and the character can grow and develop together. 

Each factor—place, idea, character, event—are present in all stories to one degree or another. 

Decide which factor dominates the story and you will discover the overall shape of your narrative!

Are you writing a story about an event and need to craft a cast of characters to bring it to life? Grab a copy of The Basic Character Creation Workbook! 

Happy Writing!