Five Key Story Elements – Examples from Popular Fiction

A while back we created a grid which demonstrates how the stages of the Hero’s Journey can be identified in a handful of popular books and films.

A lot of the Novel Factory users have told us they found that very useful, and requested that we do the same for more of the stages of the novel writing Roadmap.

So here is our first offering – the Five Major Story Elements, as identified in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Star Wars: A New Hope, The Lion King, MacBeth, A Christmas Carol, jane Eyre and The Hunger Games.

Please bear in mind that this sort of thing is wide open to interpretation, and this analysis is only intended to be used as a tool for guidance and inspiration – not to be taken as the final word. If you think you’ve got a better idea of how the story elements apply to these stories (and others) we’d love to hear your take in the comments.

Let us know if you have particular book or film you’d like us to analyse in this way. Of course, these structural concepts will not apply exactly to every work of fiction, but you might be surprised at how common they are, once you start looking out for them.

We hope to be adding more to this line of resources in the future, so if you found this useful, then you can keep in touch by subscribing for blog updates and following us on social media.

You can see a bunch of other book writing worksheets here, which we regularly update.

You can view the image below and download the PDF here.