4 Ways to Structure your Story

According to Orson Scott Card, a well-known author, there are four main elements of structure for stories. Any story can have one or more of these elements.

  1.  Milieu. That is, place. A story set in an unusual place, another world. For example, Gulliver’s Travels. The story is about the places he found, and how the people lived there. It can also be a different culture.
  2.  Idea. Seeking and discovering new information. Many science fiction stories are this type, as are mysteries – trying to find out who dun it.
  3. Character.  Focusing on a character and how she changes during the story.  The Secret Garden is one. The lonely orphan sent to her crotchety uncle finds an abandoned garden and a new friend, and a new life
  4. Event. Especially a disaster, like a major earthquake, Yellowstone erupting, or an asteroid crashing into the moon. Something that suddenly changes the way of life of many people.
erupting lava during daytime
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My book is mostly milieu (different world) and character (Samanda). She changes from a quiet person in a narrow rut of her job and her brothers. The return of her ex husband and the discovery that City is dying, thrusts her into a new life where she finds she has more talents than she knew, and is changed by living in the outdoors in the new valley.

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