How Do the Elements of a Story Add Up To a Satisfying Read?

Updated: Jun 13

A compelling story must include characters, setting, plot, point of view, conflict, and resolution to keep it running smoothly and allow the action to develop in a logical way that’s easy for the reader to follow and comprehend.

The Founder and CEO of Tomestic, Poet De’Medici, is also author of the novella, “Above You, A Black Son”. Before placing a word on the page of this historical work of fiction, he researched extensively and mapped out the storyline direction.

Here's a breakdown of the six elements he used:

Characters are the individuals who inhabit the story. They should be introduced with enough information so the reader can visualize them clearly and distinctly. This is achieved by providing detailed descriptions of a character’s physical attributes and personality traits.

Every narrative should include a main character. In “Above You, A Black Son”, that character is slave and stockman, Cerbe Parsley. The main character determines how the plot will develop and is usually the person who will solve the problem at the center of the story. Supporting characters are also important because they provide additional details, explanations, or actions. All characters should stay true to the author’s descriptions throughout the story so the reader can understand and believe the action taking place --- and maybe even predict what each character may do next.

Setting is the location of the action. Cerbe resides in the antebellum South, circa 1857 and travels to a series of plantations throughout the novella. The environment or surroundings should be very detailed so the reader can visualize a scene clearly. Fantastical or imaginative settings have their place, but everyday settings can help the reader to better visualize the story and feel connected to the plot.

Plot is the actual story around which the entire book is based. A plot should have a recognizable beginning, middle, and end --- with all the necessary descriptions and suspense (called exposition) --- so the reader can make sense of the action and follow along from start to finish.

Point of view refers to who’s story is being told and it’s narrated from that perspective only. The first person means using I and me; the second person, you; and the third person – he or she. “Above You, A Black Son” is unique because it’s told from a second person perspective, an approach not often used.

Every story has a conflict to solve. The plot is centered on this conflict and the ways in which the characters attempt to resolve the problem. The climax is when a story’s action becomes most exciting, right before the resolution. Although Cerbe is the property of his master, he must ultimately resolve how to achieve his dream of freedom and fatherhood.

Resolution is how the action is resolved. It’s important the resolution fit the rest of the story in tone and creativity and solve all parts of the conflict.

Although the setting dates back over 160 years, the subject matter has never been more relevant. This rich exploration of a young man’s quest will transport you to an overlooked time and place in history through a combination of music, video and animation when you trigger the imagery using the Tomestic app. Click on the 'Purchase' tab to see which version of the novella you prefer. After you’ve “traveled” through the book, tell others about your experience! #literature #booklove #goodreads #historicalfiction #augmentedreality #tomestic

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