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Just as you would never think of building a house without a plan, you should never build a story without first defining the crucial elements that will make it something others would want to read. All the stories in these three books—The Plight Before Christmas and Guided Missteps 1 & 2—used SCOOP IT UP to outline the key elements needed to make a story compelling and rewarding.

All captivating stories are about a character with a desperate need, who faces obstacles that put the outcome in doubt.

  • Engage Your Readers

Your words probably look great to you. Why else would you write them? But you are the one person who will not judge the effectiveness of your story. Your readers will reveal how great it is by the number of friends they tell.

Either you’re going to tell stories that spread, or you will become irrelevant.” — Seth Godin

  • Make Your Story Interesting with SCOOP

Before you begin, you need to determine the five elements that are necessary to engage your readers, so they will want to read your story from start to finish. These areas are most easily remembered with the acronym SCOOP:

Situation: normal conditions that are about to change
Character: a flawed person we want to like
Objective: a clear picture of what the character wants
Obstacle: reason to doubt whether the character’s desire will be fulfilled
Plight: significant benefit for achievement and life-threatening consequence for failure