A POSTMODERN WRITER has accused me of pushing formula writing with my new pop story ideas. (See my ebook, Ten Pop Stories.) There's truth in what he says.
Of course, the sonnet is a formula. Berry Gordy's Motown was a formula. Generic literary stories have their own formula. The trick is what can be done within a formula. Once put into place, a formula becomes a jumping off point for new creativity.
My theories of pop fiction are based on a few key points.
1.) The Opening.
2.) The Close.
5.) The Kick.
("Kick" meaning that the tale have a kick to it; a moral or idea or revelation or punch or point.)
A simple formula, right? Yet most short stories being written today fail it.