1. Colleen Snyder says:

    I have to agree that all four elements be given equal weight. Or at least a balance, if not equal. Examples? Um… Patrick Carr’s “The Shock of Night” Series. The story begins with the character being swept away with events that lead him to “worlds of politics and power” that he is not familiar in, nor with. He finds himself also changed, as is his world, by the end of the series. All four of the MICE end up being impacted almost equally, each growing and changing as the story is told/experienced. I find it interesting when someone puts forth a “all stories are _________” or “all stories contain_________.” It’s easy to come by examples to fit the mold, but equally easy to argue against the formula. With no disrespect to the ones putting forth the formulas. Writing is the most subjective of the arts, in my opinion. What you see isn’t what I wrote; what I wrote isn’t exactly what I meant. Trying to reduce it to a “insert ‘a’ to get ‘b’ and ‘c’ happens” happy formula that fits everyone is impossible. Novice writers will spend far too much time and effort trying to make sure they follow the current “wisdom;” experienced writer’s will go, “interesting, but I’ll write it this way anyhow.” Good food for thought, however.

    • Great comment, Colleen. I do think the MICE concept was good food for thought, and in many ways, it makes me want to be sure I’m bringing along all those areas as I write. But I’m with you: I don’t see writing as a formula that you simply must complete with the right pieces. It’s far more organic. And yet, we can learn from stories that are good stories. So it’s kind of a balancing act. What can I learn and how can I be my own organic writer without falling into the trap of trying to complete a formula.

      Thanks for expanding this topic.


  2. Stephen Smith says:

    It’s good to be reminded of these four writing concepts. I hear them discussed periodically on the Writing Excuses podcasts.

What do you think?