Internal Story / External Story

Novels of depth have both an internal story and an external story. These are sometimes referred to as premise and plot

The external story is precisely that–the external events that move your story forward and that form the framework for the internal story. 

The internal story is what the novel is REALLY about. It is the inner journey of the heroine (hero) during which she changes and comes to an epiphanous understanding about herself and about life. 

Finally, the internal story must be intertwined with the external story. Indeed, the internal story hangs, as it were, on the external story. The two work together to make a novel more than just a story. They work to make it an unforgettable memory.

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2 thoughts on “Internal Story / External Story

  1. I’ve learned this as the obvious need and the hidden need of the protagonist.

    In the beginning, the reader, and even the hero, will know the OBVIOUS need of the hero.

    By the end, both the reader and the hero will know the HIDDEN need and will accomplish it. Although, most of the time, the reader will know it before the hero. 🙂

    Internal and external – it makes a multi-dimenional story that is interesting and fun to read.

    March 13, 2009 at 9:58 AM