Thinking. Telling stories
I've been re-reading Donald Miller's book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years which is essentially about the art of storytelling. I took notes as I went through. They say that writing stuff down is what cements it in your mind, so herewith my notes.
A good story starts with a character. Who wants something. And who overcomes conflict to get it.
The story is always about transformation. The character must be forced towards change. The harder the change, the more interesting the story. "You put your character through hell."
Whether or not a story is 'epic' depends on the ambition of the character. The more risk, the more important the story is to the reader. The best stories are where the character's very life is at stake. Will he make it? Or will the quest defeat him? (Or her, obviously, as the case may be.)
What are the best stories you've read or watched or enjoyed? Are these elements always part of them?