Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
The classic start to children’s bedtime stories. My understanding of this is more about structure. Having a clear beginning and set up is important.
The writer needs to set the stage and then introduce the characters. This introduction will normally start with the hero or the subject but then the story has to be set. One day…. Our hero went walking in the woods and found a trail of breadcrumbs that led them to a house made of sweets. The typical story starts with the normal or mundane and leads the audience into something out of the ordinary, usually fantastical or magical. A more amazing or impossible challenge will make our hero more believable and their journey real and more emotional.
Because of….. This happened, Because of…..that,. The cycles of cause and effect create and develop our story. The beginning is not important anymore but the memory of what it created becomes our new starting point. This memory is what we build on throughout our story and use to drive it forward The story has now begun so we must lead our hero’s through a series of tasks or challenges set out as cause and effect. These cycles build the personality of the hero and other characters and introduce us to landscapes, new characters, tasks, puzzles, rewards and all of the other elements that make a story interesting. By using them in the right sequence and using in the context created at the initial set up our themes will develop and grow. Each step leading the main characters and the hero closer to the goal.
Until finally….. There must be a clear ending to the story that shows a transition and development of the characters. They have to change during the story, but once they reach the end they then go back to a new normal life and this is usually the beginning of the next story.