Let me ask you a question:
What makes a great story?
The medium doesn’t matter – it could be a book, a movie, TV, a play, or grandpa sitting on the porch in his rocking chair.
What makes some stories stand apart from others? What separates the great from the mediocre, the forgettable, or the just shoot me now awful?
Is it the content, structure, or delivery? Can we honestly separate the pieces from the whole?
I admit, I’m pretty easy to please. I’ve lost track of how many stories, be it film or book, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed yet are eviscerated by public opinion and critic alike.
On the other hand, there are too many to name that have been hyped past the moon that I cannot, for the life of me, see the draw.
But what makes a great story?
I’m a fan of it all. Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Thrillers, Westerns, Romance (no erotica, thank you), Comedy, Cartoons, Comics, and on and on and on.
As a writer, I’ve found no end to the supply of advice in crafting a great story. Whether or not that advice actually has helped me create a great story…we’ll see.
But, I wonder at the advice sometimes. A lot of it is based on what’s trending now – what readers are reading now. And, it makes sense. To a point.
But what about the stories that last the test of time? Those stories that we keep returning to, even if they go against every single piece of advice we’re told makes a great story?
Those books we’re told that if they were written today wouldn’t get published. Or read.
Yet, we cling to them. We read and reread them. We read them to our children. We evangelize them to our friends, family, strangers on buses.
I’m not offering answers. I have my opinions, but I want to hear yours.
What are your favorite stories, and why? Leave a comment below, and let’s talk about it.
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