6 Essential Elements of a story

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Elements of a story are the different building blocks of a story that need to fit well together to write a successful story.

These six essential elements of a story are found in every work of fiction or nonfiction and play an important role in story writing. Understand all the 6 elements before starting writing your story or novel.

Elements of a Story

Below is the list of elements of a story that make a story complete.

1. Setting

elements of a story
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Setting is the location of the action taking place in the story. It is the writer’s description of where and when is the story taking place or occurs in the story.

  • The writer of the story shares the basic details of the environment and surroundings of the story so that its readers can connect themselves with the place and time of the action in the story.

Elements of Setting of a story:

  • Geographical location
  • Physical location
  • Physical environment
  • Time period
  • social and cultural environment

Watch the below video on ”How to build a fictional world” by TED-ED to understand setting in literature better-

2. Conflict

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Every story needs a conflict, a problem that the main character or all other characters is trying to solve or resolve in the story.

  • Conflict is often related to the main character or the main character revolves around the conflict in the whole story.
  • The conflict is the fuel for the story, the story doesn’t end until the problem or the conflict is resolved.
  • The bigger the conflict or the problem is, the more interesting the story becomes to read, but while writing a short story writer should create a conflict that can easily be solved within the short story word count limit.

3. Characters

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Characters are the fictional individuals, persons present in the story, and taking part in all the action happening in the story.

  • The protagonists, the main character and antagonist, the character in conflict with the main character are the two most important and primary characters of any story.
  • Most often every story follows the journey of the main character and the whole plot of the story revolves around them.

4. Plot

elements of a story

Plot is the sequence of events in the story. Every story has a beginning, middle, and end, which is the basic part of a plot.

  • The beginning of the story follows the exposition where the writer describes the setting and the characters of the story are also introduced to the readers.
  • The middle of the story includes the rising action, the climax, and the falling action. The end of the story presents the resolution of the story.

5. Theme

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Theme is the central idea of the story, it is the belief or the message the writer wants to deliver through the story.

A theme in the literature relates to what a book is about, it is the underlying message that writers want to convey and there can be one or even multiple themes in a story.

You can know more about themes by reading our article:101 Themes of a Story in Literature

6. Point of View

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Point of view refers to who is telling the story or from whose perspective the story will be told or delivered to the readers.

To understand the point of view better, you first have to understand- what are narration and point of view in storytelling?.

The narration of a story starts with choosing a perfect point of view for your story.

A story can be narrated from the point of view or perspective of-

  • First Person– In the first-person point of view the story is written and told to readers using ”I” or ”We” pronouns.

Neel Rana

About the Author- Neel Rana is a YA short story author, flash fiction writer, literary enthusiast and the founder of Pandora Post. Neel holds a degree in BA Honours in English Literature and has been writing since 2017. Neel’s magnum opus YA short storybook, “The Drunken Ghost” has been well received by the readers.