In storytelling, some things just work. Therefore, yours truly have collected the various popular storytelling elements in one straight-forward infographic.
Storytelling elements infographic
The magical ingredients found in almost all great stories:
Update: Want to see these storytelling elements applied to an actual story? Check out Storytelling for Jedi Masters!
The storytelling elements:
1. The contract
In the very beginning, you have to make a promise. Will this be violent? Scary? Fun? Tense? Dramatic?
2. The pull
Provide context to pull the audience into your story.
3. The incident
The event that sets everything in motion. Should occur early and keep the story moving forward.
4. The reveal
Allow your characters to learn what the story is really about — and what’s at stake.
5. Point of no return
The forces of good are faced with an impossible decision that concerns fear, safety, love, hate, revenge, or despair.
Sorry, but you must allow the forces of evil to have an epic win.
7. All-is-lost moment
The moment where all is lost. You must portray the deepest despair for the forces of good.
8. News of hope
A possibility for a side character to shine. A light that shines into the total darkness of the moment.
9. The climax
The shit hits the fan and the good puts everything at risk but and overcomes — despite impossible odds.
10. The pay-off
Public displays of relief and happiness, love, and forgiveness. We also learn that the hero has evolved.