It’s pretty simple, eh?
When we were kids, this was the story formula we followed.
So why don’t we follow this story formula when we’re writing?
I tend to tell myself that the story needs to be more complicated. But I look at the image above and I realize it has all the elements I need to make a good story.
1) Who is my story about?
2) What does my character do?
3) What changes?
4) How does my character react to this change?
5) What do they do after they react?
6) What is the result of their reaction?
It’s really not as complicated as we sometimes make it out to be.
That’s why I love the stories kids make up. They’re usually absurd but based on this story formula of this happened, then this happened, then this happened.
For a chuckle and a great example of this story formula and the absurdity of kids’ stories, check out this video of Jimmy Fallon and Channing Tatum reading scenes for Magic Mike that were written by elementary school kids who had no idea what the movie was about.