With NaNoWriMo 2020 having arrived, I’ve decided that each day I’m going to fill out one of my writing worksheets that I’ve downloaded from other blogs and fill it in on here. This way, I will have a lot of neat story elements collected in one place, and anyone else can follow this format if they like it, too.
For each of these sections of the “Things I Love In Stories” worksheet by E.A.Deverell, attempt to think of and write down 3-5 answers in order to flesh out this sort of thought exercise. Whenever you are struggling or feeling lackluster about your writing, refer to this worksheet in order to remind yourself what elements you love about literature and see how you can incorporate one into your work.
Subjects: Fae lore, Fairytales, ghosts, myths and legends, Norse mythology.
Imagery: Vast oceans, flowery fields, moonlit skies, verdant forests, mysterious magic.
Plot Elements: Enemies turned allies/lovers, Curses needing to be broken, Slow-burning realistic relationship development (no ‘love at first sight’ BS), Last minute plot twists that completely flip the story and had excellent groundwork laid out, Subtle foreshadowing (that you realize was amazingly planned out once it comes to fruition).
Settings: Magical forests or glades, Castle towns, Under the sea, Fanciful architecture (such as chapels or castles), Any nighttime outdoors setting that describes the beauty of the moon or stars.
Narrative Devices: Chronological narrative, a diary style, framing the story (story within a story, utilized often by Shakespeare), limited 1st or 3rd person point-of-view, foreshadowing.
Characteristics in a Hero(ine): A critical or strong flaw that needs to be addressed, a willingness to do what’s right but sometimes resists responsibility, strong sense of empathy for others, a mystery to solve in their backstory, a trauma that affects their capacity to be the hero.
Characteristics in an Antagonist: A flawed perspective of the world state, backstory motivation for their actions, potentially redeemable personality with one selfless trait, a powerful presence, cunning and manipulative.
Words: Starlight, fae(ry), invariably, adoration, rain.
Conflicts: Usurping the throne, warring nations, discrimination towards magic-users, technology race, character betrayal.
Relationships: Mentor to young protagonist, enemies turned allies, love triangle around the protagonist, orphaned protagonist due to plot reasons, magic tutor and students.
Conversation: Witty banter, confessions of feelings, sarcastic or sassy commentary.
Mysteries: Missing heir to the throne, character identity (tall dark handsome stranger), what sort of creature or monster was responsible for something.
Things to Describe: Starlight reflected on the water, the lull of the ocean waves and air, colorful flowers and lush plants, attractive characters.
Objects: Books (duh), magical trinkets, pendants, stars, cats (is that an object?).
Stylistics Elements: Allusion (reference to myths and legends), charactonym (giving characters names that describe them), elipses, hypophora (asking a question and answering it immediately), metaphor, personification, simile, rhetorical questions.
Other things in literature: Fleshed-out worlds with maps included in the book, and series that keep me wanting to read more due to compelling narrative and NOT cliff-hangers.