Authors, here’s a tip you may not have considered:
Are there elemental forces influencing your writing? How can you use the concept of the four elements to enhance your stories?
Elemental, My Dear
The concept of The Four Elements is an ancient one. Though it varies in different cultures, the most common elements are Air, Water, Fire and Earth. While we may not take the four elements as seriously today as we used to, the basic concepts have endured and can still be applied to gain understanding of a subject. Here’s a summary of the most common descriptions of each element:
Air– Thought, communication, intelligence, the power of the mind
Water– Emotion, healing, the feminine aspect
Fire– Passion, purification, destruction, the masculine aspect
Earth– Physical, grounding, growth, material world
Currently in Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction and Urban Fantasy genres, there are so many stories featuring “Elementals”, (people or beings with special powers corresponding to an element) that it is almost a subgenre. The idea of wielding power over nature is appealing, and it’s interesting to see how different authors twist the concept. But you don’t have to use the elements in a literal sense, to gain understanding or benefit. Here’s how I use the element’s influence in my stories:
Setting- physical location where the story happens (place), corresponds to Earth. This grounds the reader.
Ideas- the communication of the story (words, dialogue), corresponds to Air. This speaks to the reader.
Emotions– the theme and feeling of the story (characters) – corresponds to Water. This makes the reader feel.
Action– what happens (plot) – corresponds to Fire. This drives the reader to finish the story.
Keeping the four elements in mind while writing can help to achieve balance in a story. Have you used the concept of the four elements in your work?