Break Story – A Definition
By Lucy V. Hay
I love the term ‘break story’ to describe the process of testing a new idea. (It’s borrowed from the building world, where you ‘break ground’ to lay the foundations of a building). Though I learned this in the screenwriting world, I discovered it works with all ideas. Now it does not matter if I am writing a script, novel or short story … I always break story.
Whilst every writer has their own individual process, most do it to check the story ‘stands up’ at concept level … Such as:
- Premise – does it ‘stand up’ to scrutiny? Or is it too like another story?
- Character – what are the characters’ motivations and role functions?
- Plot – how would this story work? What medium is it? Is it non-linear?
… And so on. Sometimes you may hear industry people saying a story ‘has legs’, too. Whatever you want to call it though, basically writers are road-testing their concepts.
The B2W Model To Break Story