The BUT/SO rule

What makes for a good story

I read quite a bit and there have been some great books out there that keep me interested and engaged. However one of the things I noticed was wrong with bad stories was when things just kept happening to the protagonist, things that were out of their control.

The story was driven almost entirely by outside events, and before long I lost interest. When I saw the south park creators talking about this subject it just made sense.

Consequences of actions

Want a great example of this – The Martian by Andy Weir. After the initial sandstorm almost everything that goes wrong for Mark Watney is caused by his actions and his choices.

It can be summed up as

Mark is on Mars BUT he is stranded SO he tries to grow potatoes for food BUT he does not have enough water SO he tries to make water from rocket fuel ……..

Hence I call it the BUT/SO rule.

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