The basis of good storytelling

Professor Sean Hood shared this last week and it's a good reminder of what makes a story. 

From http://genrehacks.blogspot.com/2015/01/a-new-class-at-usc.html

From http://genrehacks.blogspot.com/2015/01/a-new-class-at-usc.html

He also shared the fairy tale structure that Brian McDonald mentioned in his blog, Invisible Ink:

Once upon a time_____________
And every day________________
Until one day_________________
And because of this___________
And because of this___________
And because of this___________
Until finally__________________
And ever since that day_______

If you think about it, almost all great story follow this simple structure.

Wall-E was cleaning trash on the planet Earth everyday until one day, Eve and her spaceship arrived. You know the rest.

Nemo swam in the ocean until one day, he was caught by a fishing boat and because of this, his father went on this incredible journey. 

Even complex story follow this structure. Inception, Christopher Nolan's imaginative story about dream thieves, is considered a fairly complex story, but we can still break it down following this structure.

1. Once upon a time there was a dream thief, Dom Cobb.
2. And every day Dom committed corporate espionage. 
3. Until one day, Dom was caught by his target. 
4. And because of this Dom had to embark on a new mission.
5. And because of this Dom had to recruit members to join.
6. And because of this Dom had to start his mission.
7. And because of this Dom's team entered the mind of his target.
8. Until finally, the target's mind was manipulated by Dom's team.
9. And ever since that day Dom was able to see his kids again.

So if you're stuck on a story, just think of this structure and see if it helps you move along. 

Happy writing!