Essay by rostame2University, Bachelor's April 2004

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When most people consider how to tell a story, they think in terms of plot and character. While these are often the

most visible aspects of a story, there is an underlying foundation of principles that support a well-told story. These principles could be compared to a house foundation. Without a solid foundation, the other effects of the house, its "character and design," cannot be fully enjoyed. In the same fashion, the principles of storytelling are also mostly out of sight, but the effect of badly laid story foundation has effects just as damaging as a badly constructed house foundation.

The purpose of this essay is to lay out the principles, that well-constructed literature will contain, in a manner that they can be considered individually. The principles can also be understood as a unified piece of rationalism that offers an overview of what well constructed literature consists of, and how it is written.

Understanding these principles should be able to help a reader to distinguish between well-constructed literature and what tries to pass as literature.

Literature is a world where every character, every action, every element has meaning and purpose. This is what makes

literature fundamentally different from life. Life offers facts that don't necessarily have a clear purpose, meaning or outcome; events that generate emotional states that have no clear purpose or fulfillment; or events that captivate the senses, but not in a meaningful, dramatic, or fulfilling way. Real life, then, can be chaotic, or appear to lack a desirable purpose and meaning. For example, we don't marry the love of our life... or we do, and then things can go terribly wrong. Or the one we love is taken from us by a freak accident. Or we work hard but don't get the rewards we desire. Even worse,