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Character, plot, setting, point of view, theme, and style. According to Ruthanne Reid these are the six elements you need for good fiction, and she goes into detail about each one over at The Write Practice.
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The 6 Elements of Fiction
The First Element of Fiction: Character
In many ways, characters are the foundation for the entire work. Is there conflict? That’s going to involve the emotional and mental condition of your characters. Have you chosen a point of view? That’s you following specific characters as you tell the story. Your characters are the people through whom your reader experiences the tale, and the trick is to make those fictional characters feel completely real.
- You’ll need to know their backstory. This doesn’t mean your reader needs to know it, but your understanding of your character’s history is crucial for how and why your character responds to things.
- You’ll need at least a rudimentary grasp of psychology. You and I have both read books which annoyed us because the characters just didn’t feel “real.” Often, this is because basic psychology was ignored, and the characters behaved in a way that made no sense for human beings.
- You’ll need to understand the power of the character arc. Your character should not be the same at the end of the story as in the beginning. They change, and their growth is a key aspect of your story’s momentum.
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