A diagram showing an Overview, Want need or Desire, and Life Changing Event
Drawing a Diagram
Synopsis of Story:
1. Overview: Rindar, a Cro-Magnon Warrior, expelled from his tribe, rescues a beautiful woman and her two children on a plain in Central France. He takes them to his camp site and adopts them. He is forced to reconcile his tribal bonds and responsibility for his new family and face the specter of Volusia‘s past.
2. Sketch of Central Character: An impulsive proud warrior in his late twenties, he is living along in exile after being expelled from his tribe. He is strong, athletic and gifted in skills of a successful hunter and artisan of his times. He is outraged by the tribe's willingness to sacrifice young men in order to secure from the Wardarians, rights to the tribal lands they occupy. He is expelled for violating the provisions of an annual activity known as the “Hunting Games.” Having a social temperament, the loneliness is particularly acute and hard to bear. He meets Volusia on the plain fleeing from her past and takes her in.
3. CC’s Wants Needs and Desires: Rindar wants to be an esteemed member of his tribe and do the things he has been brought up and trained to do. For him this is the "good life" and he yearns to be a part and take advantage of it. Once he is expelled he must change his whole style of existence and laments the emotional suffering it causes. He wants to return to the honor and presence of his people and once again be socially accepted and in the good graces of his tribe.
4. Life Changing Event: He is shamed into taking the place of a young man who has little chance of surviving the games. In the process the Wardarians go to great lengths, cheating and using all manner of dishonorable tactics, to bring him to bay and take his head as a trophy. He eludes them and in the process kills two of his pursuers. For this he is expelled.
At this point in the writing process, we begin to see the synergism between the components of a good story. It isn’t just one thing or an array of things but the synergism that is taking place between the parts. Using a diagrammatic technique such as shown above is a good way to see if the thread of the story has the components that will lead to success.