Saturday, February 19, 2011

What Makes A Good Story......Good?

"What makes a good story.....well, good?" Is a question I often receive. And I had to think about this, too. And so I replied to myself, "Strong characters........thought out plot.....ingenious setting....." But can you guess what? I was wrong! This is what a good story needs, but it isn't necessarily what makes a good story good. And so, I then thought about the outline of the story, and the adventure that the characters partake on.

Yes! That's what makes a good story good. "What outline?" you ask? Well, that is the way the basis of the story begins. From this, you build on it and make it your own, make it good, and then, make it great. So here, allow me to be of assistance and show you what you need to start with:

  1. The hero (for arguments sake let's say it's male) is usually either an exceptional being--he is stronger, braver, or wiser than other men--or he is completely ordinary, and has "greatness thrust upon him".
  2. Something outside his own home land, and what he is familiar with, calls him to assume his quest.
  3. The hero is always accompanied by a trusted friend / sidekick, or a group of companions he may or may not trust.
  4. The hero is often helped or hindered by some greater being.
  5. The hero must overcome monsters or other forms of obstacles.
  6. The hero often has to face many forms of danger and even sometimes death itself.
  7. At some point, he is often abandoned by or losses his friend / companions (and is left to face the final challenge alone)
  8. The hero returns to what was once familiar to him, and is greeted by joy...or disdain.
"But what about where to start or end? What about the flow? The challenges? The consequences? The characters!!!!!" Well, that is all up to you. And I guess, in the end, YOU are what makes a good story good. For it is YOUR story, and it can be whatever you want it to be.

Happy Writing!

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