So, you have this story: Boy meets girl, boy loves girl, girl loves boy, boy and girl are separated by circumstances, boy and girl try to be together anyway, all hell breaks loose, boy and girl overcome their challenges and end up together. This is the plot for a great many stories.
This plot does not tell you the genre of the story.
This plot does not tell you the characters of the story.
This plot does not tell you the milieu of the story.
This plot is NOT what the story is really about.
So, what would tell you what this story is really about?
Here are a few places to start:
- Who are your characters are and why are they who they are?
- What circumstances keep them apart and how are those circumstances shaped by the milieu of the story?
- What is the focus of the story? (This determines the genre.)
- What’s the theme of the story? What message do you use this story to convey?
Ideally, all these elements—plot, character, milieu, genre, and theme—will work together to convey a cohesive meaning that goes beyond what happens to whom and where. If you accomplish that, then you’ll have a story that’s really about something and your readers will love you for it!