Writing is like baking a cake.
There are thousands of different kinds of cakes, thousands of different ways to make them. But the basic ingredients remain the same: flour, sugar, eggs, butter…
So what are the basic ingredients every story should have?
Sponge Cake Story
1. The plot is the flour of the story.
It’s the basis, the foundation — more than just a chain of events. A plot needs conflict and a satisfying resolution. Throw in a mediocre, cliched or predictable plot and your story will sink like an undercooked sponge and utterly bore your reader’s tastebuds.
2. The characters are the sugar.
They add flavour, but that’s not all: they add volume and keep your story fresh. Characters provide leavening, ensuring that the plot doesn’t come out tough and chewy. If your characters are flat and unappealing, no one will care what happens to them.
3. The setting is the butter.
It glues the characters and plot together, it provides texture and depth. A lumpy, inconsistent setting will make your readers wonder whether they’re reading a story, or eating badly mixed dough.
4. And the theme is the egg.
It’s the hidden ingredient without which everything would fall apart. The theme binds all the ingredients together into one smooth story, elevating your humble cake from mere entertainment to something sublime.
Master the art of mixing these four ingredients together, and you’re on the road to story-making greatness.
Don’t forget to garnish as desired.
Images courtesy of stock.xchng.