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Notes, tutorials, exercises, thoughts, workshops and resources about writing or storytelling art

The Key Elements of the Creative Process

I have always thought that learning how your brain works is one of the best ways to overcome any resistance or fear of writing as this knowledge with enable you to make the most of your creativity.

This is why I want to tell you about the creative process (also known as the search for an idea or solution to a problem) which is an internal battle we all have to fight before we begin to write.

Every creative process goes through four stages: preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification.

How to Introduce Conflict in a Story

Let’s imagine a man called Peter leaving the gym and running to his car with his duffel bag over his head to protect himself from the rain. When he reaches the car and is about to open the door, he stops because he sees Laura, his best friend’s girlfriend, kissing another man on the opposite sidewalk. The girl is wearing a pair of sunglasses, but all the same, he recognizes her.

How to Introduce Conflict in a Story

Peter stands in the rain for a while as he watches the scene in disbelief. The couple enters a café, so he gets into his car but does not start it. He just sits there with his mobile phone in his hand. The screen displays the name and picture of his friend next to the call icon. More than once, Peter almost dials, but he finally decides not to.

Eventually, regardless of the rain, he returns the phone to his bag, gets out of the car, crosses the street, and enters the café. Laura is sitting at a table, chatting away with her companion. Peter approaches them and sits in front of the girl. Looking at him from behind the sunglasses she has not yet removed, she asks, “What are you doing here?” Peter ignores the question, sneers at her, and says, “Would you call this a little mistake too, or is it just me?”

“Deus Ex Machina”: What Is it and How to Avoid it?

In this post, I want to discuss why you shouldn’t resort to “Deus Ex Machina” when you’re trying to solve a conflict in a story. As I have occasionally made that mistake and learned how to avoid it, I think you can take advantage of my experience and advice.

Deus Ex Machina

The origin of the term “Deus Ex Machina” dates back to the theatre in Ancient Greece when at the end of a play, one of the Olympic gods was hanging from a crane in order to solve the characters’ conflicts and give an end to the story. With their belief system at that time, this method for sorting things out was more or less justified, but the readers of today won’t easily accept divine intervention.

Four Key Story Elements: Summary, Plot, Structure, and Suspense

There are four key elements when it comes to telling a story: summary, plot, structure, and suspense. However, as all of them are interrelated and even interdependent, it’s sometimes difficult to tell them apart.

How to Write a Story

In this post, I’ll analyze these elements separately to discover their functions and peculiarities.


Summary refers to the main events of the narrative presented in chronological order. This sequential type of organization provides the writer with a clear answer to two questions. What’s the story about? What does it tell the reader? As we’ll discuss in the next section, once those questions have been answered, the author can break the chronological order of narrative discourse and choose the one that best fits his or her story.

Key Elements of a Story: The Flashpoint or Inciting Event

The flashpoint or inciting event of a story is its first turning point and has the function of bringing chaos where there was order.

Key elements of a story: the flashpoint

It is the point of no return and the trigger that gives rise to conflict and action. All in all, it is the event that provides the writer with a story to tell. Here are some flashpoint examples: