Creating Story Events

by Naomi

Question: One of the questions I find most important is creating events. I can imagine an event but when I look at it I don't find it connected to the plot or at least making the character emotional at all. Can you please give me some tips.


Answer: When creating events, you must remember than a story event is not just something that happens. The event must be significant and it must affect a character in a way that gives him or her a new purpose.

For instance, imagine your character wins a lottery. A sudden arrival of wealth will change his life profoundly, and not just in material ways. All his relationships will be affected. People will treat him differently, and he will have to make many decisions from how to handle his wealth to how to handle his relationships. New opportunities may arise as a result, as well as pitfalls. Maybe he's happy at first, but then he may worry about how to handle his wealth. He may become fearful of losing it or having it stolen. An entire plot could be developed from this one event.

Here's another example. Imagine if someone's father dies. Suddenly, the person may be forced to confront feelings he's had about his father but suppressed for many years. He may face an inner struggle to come to terms with this event and his past. Information that the father kept hidden may be revealed and that may cause the family members to react emotionally and to take actions. Again, an event like this can cause an entire chain of related events to unfold.

So you see, a story must begin with a significant event, one that changes a person's life, that forces him or her to make a decision or action - based on the emotions associated with the event. Whatever decision or action the character takes will lead to the next event, and the next. And this chain of events will make up the plot.

So if you have an event in mind, ask yourself how it will affect the characters, and especially your main characters. If the answer is, "not at all," then find a different event. If you have an event that works, you can ask yourself what caused the event, or what resulted from it, and built your plot that way.

(I shortened your question a bit, I hope you don't mind.)

Click here to post comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Plot Invite.

search this site the web
search engine by freefind

Celebrating our 2nd year as one of the...

 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook

NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles

"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards

"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero