This is from the story, “The Five Basic Story Elements: The Key Elements Needed Before the Novel is Written”
1. Introduce the Main Character
Make sure there is a focal character or hero.
Even if there are two main characters, there is always one who is more important to the story, or whose journey is slightly more important or urgent than the other.
2. Establish the Situation of Danger
There should be an element of trouble or danger that the character is working in.
If there isn’t any trouble, then there isn’t anything forcing the hero to act.
The trouble and the action doesn’t need to be something like Dr. Doom blowing up the world. It can be something as gentle as a mother’s terrible secret and erratic behavior impacting her daughter’s plans for college (The Queen of Sleepy Eye by Patti Hill).
3. Define the Character’s External Goal
Here is where the writer clearly establishes what the character is going to be working toward for the entire novel. This is the prize or purpose the character is pursuing as he journeys into the unknown (The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler).
Here is where what the character wants (External Goal) and why he wants it (Motivation) is defined in order to round out the character’s personality (Goal, Motivation, and Conflict by Debra Dixon).
Check out the rest of the story at Suite 101.com