Friday, 26 April 2013

W is for Who, What, Where, When, Why (and How!)

When I started training as a journalist, we were told the things we had to get into the story were Who, What, Where, When, Why and How.I've found it's a good checklist for fiction stories as well, and acts as a good starting point for a skeleton of a story.

To apply it to Star Wars:
Who - Luke Skywalker.
What - A Jedi knight fighting against an evil dictator.
Where - In a galaxy far, far away.
When - A long time ago.
Why - Initially to save the girl, then because he wants to make the galaxy a better place to live.
How - Using the Force, space ships, and a bunch of furry Ewoks.

Or to Pride and Prejudice:
Who - Lizzie Bennet.
What - A well bred woman who is looking for love.
Where - England.
When - The Regency period.
Why - It's the done thing for women to marry, but she also needs to marry well to ensure the security of her family.
How - By meeting Mr Darcy and overcoming her prejudices.

Some fiction may seem to miss out some of the points, but I've found that even when they seem to, there's a hint of all six areas - even if the When is restricted to today or yesterday, and the Where is just here, or a street.

A little PS - W is also for Wonderful, which is what my mum is! It's her 65th birthday today, so happy birthday Mum :)

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