Steps To A Creating A Good Story

Richard McCullough’s thoughts on story conception.


Story conception is just getting an idea that can be turned into a premise and explored through characterization.

Story Design

Designing a story is simply working out the general idea of the major components that make up any story such as: premise, antagonist, protagonist, objective, problem, duration, location, time, motivation, consequences, and outcome. The dramatic scope of the story and timeline are also decided upon.

Design also includes decisions regarding the genre, target audience, and delivery format.

And from there the design would move on to the major actions of the introduction, first act break, second act break, climax and conclusion.


Composition is what most people think of as “screenwriting”. But there are two steps before composition; otherwise one would not know what they were writing about, why they were writing about it or the point they were trying to make with their narrative.

  1. Story Editing

Good editing starts broad and works down into the details. Is there a clear protagonist with a clear goal and conflict. Does the story work? Is it doing what it was intended it to do? Does it illustrate the intended premise? And working down to things like: Is each scene pulling its weight? Does the dialogue work? Is the tension right? etc.


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