Nearly all stories since ancient times have the same basic ingredients. When you use those ingredients, the stories you tell are more resonant, interesting and thus effective.

Here are the basic elements of a story, from Clairification, at Successful Storytelling: 5 Foolproof Ways to Raise Money:


  1. Premise. (What’s going on and who’s involved. This is the set-up that shows people what the story is “about.”
  2. Conflict. Start with action.
  3. Conflict escalation. 
  4. Climax.
  5. Resolution.