The four parts of a story

In the process of doing research for an upcoming book project I’ve been thinking about what happens after the research is done. I haven’t done anything like this before so I’ve ended up repeatedly asking myself,  “How am I going to plan and write this story?” Sure, other writers and creatives have developed and shared their methods for transforming an abstract idea into a thing of beauty. But their methods don’t feel right for me. So, the question remains: “How am I going to plan and write this story?” A few days ago, I came up with an answer: Break the telling of the story down into four constituent parts.

1. CHARACTERS – The cast of beings that feature in the story.
2. EVENTS – What happens to the cast.
3. WORLD – The environment and society the story unfolds in.
4. NARRATION – How you describe the above.
That’s it. Everything to do with the telling of a story goes into one of those four categories; character profiles, philosophies and motives fall into the first bucket; anything to do with plot, sub-plots, conflict and tension goes into the second; big-picture concepts and excruciating details of the world are lumped in the third; and directives concerning point of view, voice and inclusion and exclusion are placed in the last.

Obviously, I have yet to try this approach out in real life. But judging by the excitement that met the apparition of the idea it seems like a good way to get started.