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Once upon a time, I studied story.

Who doesn’t love a good story? Even if reading a novel isn’t necessarily your thing, there's a great possibility you still enjoy stories because they are ingrained in us from childhood. If we expand our view of what “story” means, I believe we can realize how often they surround our daily life.

Miriam Webster’s dictionary defines story as both “an account of incidents or events” and “the intrigue or plot of a narrative or dramatic work.” When we look at these terms, we seem room for story where we may not have previously. An account could be as simple as a car commercial or an infographic. Intrigue may be found in marketing copy or a business report.

Story undisputedly surround us and many experts are becoming renowned for their study of them. Over the next few Mondays I'll highlight some of my favorite story-studiers. These people have influenced my own appreciation of story, already so deeply scored on my heart as a child, and have helped me better interpret storiesin my designs and writing.

But first, here's a brief overview of what you need to create a story. Storytelling must contain specific elements, as few as five and as many as twenty (or more!). The more elements, the more complex the creation process can be. Many authors employ these elements in a thumbnail sketch to outline a new plot before ever writing their first chapter.

The most traditional elements includes: Characters, Setting, Plot, Conflict, and Resolution. These may be called a variety of things such as a premise or theme rather than plot, or a protagonist and antagonist instead of characters. Some might not even categorize the elements by a single word, instead choosing to create a sentence outline.

From authors to marketing gurus and more, let's look at a variety of ways story experts create intriguing accounts. Til then...

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