Reading time: 1 minute

Some storytelling elements just keep coming back, again and again. Well, here they are.

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Quora

In storytelling, some things just work.

Therefore, yours truly have done some research and collected the different storytelling elements in one place, including a basic infographic.

It would be quite fun and interesting to do a content marketing series which followed these steps as an experiment, right?

Here goes:

The Storytelling Elements

The storytelling elements:

1. The Contract
In the very beginning, you have to make a promise. Will this be violent? Scary? Fun? Tense? Dramatic?

2. The Pull
Provide context to pull the audience into your story.

3. The Incident
The event that sets everything in motion. Should occur early and keep the story moving forward.

4. The Reveal
Allow your characters to learn what the story is really about — and what’s at stake.

5. Point of No Return
The forces of good are faced with an impossible decision that concerns fear, safety, love, hate, revenge, or despair.

6. Anti-Climax
Sorry, but you must allow the forces of evil to have an epic win.

7. All-Is-Lost Moment
The moment where all is lost. You must portray the deepest despair for the forces of good.

8. News of Hope
A possibility for a side character to shine. A light that shines into the total darkness of the moment.

9. Climax
The shit hits the fan and the good puts everything at risk but and overcomes — despite impossible odds.

10. The Pay-Off
Public displays of relief and happiness, love, and forgiveness. We also learn that the hero has evolved.

Want to see these storytelling elements applied to an actual story? Check out Storytelling for Jedi Masters when applied to Star Wars — A New Hope!




Never miss a Doctor Spin article again?

Join 6,800+ of the best people on the planet — my SpinCTRL subscribers
(+ download 23 Tactics for Content Promotion as a signup bonus).


Want Jerry to speak at your event? Learn more here.


Jerry Silfwer is the author of Doctor Spin, a PR blog that's been around for 15+ years. Via his agency Spin Factory, Jerry is advising brands on how to adapt to a 'digital first' world. In 2016, Cision Scandinavia named him "PR Influencer of the Year". Jerry lives in Stockholm, Sweden with his wife Lisah, news anchor and television host, and their three-year-old son, Jack.

Doctor Spin’s comment policy:
“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt


(If you want your profile picture next to your comment, create your own Gravatar here.)

Anna Olsson

Hej! Jag länkade till det här inlägget från min sammanfattning av session jag hade igår. Tack för att du var med och delade med dig av dina erfarenheter!

Doctor Spin

Tack Anna. Kul och bra diskussioner, tyckte jag. Och väsentliga ämnen då många av verksamheterna inte har samma resurser som t.ex. näringslivet. Tack fö rbra session och hoppas vi minglar in i varandra snart igen.


Hi! Can you give us examples from a well known story or a few stories? Think it might be helpful, thanks!

Doctor Spin

Absolutely — check out Storytelling for Jedi Masters.