What makes a good story?

13 posts / 0 new
Last post
What makes a good story?

What makes a good story? Well that certainly is a good question. We all know a story had to grip you emotionally and have you wanting to discover more, allowing you to escape into the author's mind and blow you away with a brilliant tale. People like Tolkien I admire. He is a true genius. They say anything you create is real, sent to you in your dreams. I know that if that was ever true, i would want to go to Middle-earth. I want to know what makes a good story so that I can help others and inspire others too and let them see into my own mind, let them see my own world. I want them tp breathe new air and see new sights, to walk new ground and feel new thoughts. I want them to see my world. So tell me what you feel a tale would need to inspire all those things?

Some like character driven stories. I like a good plot. Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, HG Wells, Jules Verne, Wilkie Collins,Robert Louis Stevenson and Rudyard Kipling. Great writers with great plots, but these days the plot is underrated. Incase people think I only like male writers, Agatha Christie exemplifies the plot driven story writer more than any and I am in awe of her. Also, the Bronte's, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights are great page turners. JoHn - "Ex amore victoria". ("From love comes victory".)
It's obviously true that different types of stories appeal to different people. An infamous critic, reviewing Tolkien's second (third?) book simply wrote: Oh fuck, not another elf. He obviously didn't like them. I suppose suspense has to be an essential ingredient because it makes people want to turn the page and they get immersed in the story even though it may not be a story that appeals to them in other ways. I'm sure that's why the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or the Da Vinci Code were such blockbusters because they were basically crap apart from that. It is certainly what made Steven King so successful but then again he is an excellent writer and creator of characters too and that's as important - believability through the characters even where the plot itself is fantastic or even ludicrous.
I would disagree that the plot is underrated these days well wisher. If anything plots are ever more complex and engaging as writers evolve the craft. For me, I have to fall in love with the characters. If I don't, then the plot can be fantastic and it wont matter because I won't care what happens to them. When I am immersed in a story I will dream/daydream about the characters, try and anticipate what is going to happen to them and what actions they will take.
Character and plot are truly vital but without decent writing it all falls apart. Learn to write first and then add the ingredients - it's as simple as that!
Tony knows what he is talking about. He has been around for a long time. I think you have to put your heart into it and yes ..read, read, read.. even all the stories and poems on here. You'll learn a helluva lot here. Digest and spit your stuff out but gently and kindly be it a horror story.. Who knows what makes a good poem? Contemporary poetry is very different from "olden days" but the essence may be there. I think it all began with cubism and existentialism, maybe it began with Shakespeare, maybe the Old Testament? If you have a tale to tell, and every one has, just go on with it but please take care of your grammar,spelling and punctuation along the way.Mine isn't perfect I know but I try and try again. atb atm ;)Pia
Here's my tuppence worth. Writing a story is the easy and indulgent bit. Sorting the narrative out is the challenge. By this I mean that the hard yards lie in the correcting and the editing. If you are commpletely sick of the site of your story; can almost recite it word for word; have agonised over adjectives and all the rest and got to the stage where the story has even taken on a different form in your psyche..... then you have probably (almost) done enough revising and editing to make it a reasonable read. That's what makes a good story. Assuming the stories worth telling in the first place. Scratch.


Hi All Guys :) I hope your all well. I personally think what makes a good story is up to the reader, after all its they who take the time and often money to invest in a story, however for me I believe if you have a passion for your story whether more to do with characters or the plot or the writing e.t.c if the reader can feel the passion you have for writing and bring the words to life, then that is a story. But everyone believes different things and personally I do not believe there is a wrong and right way in doing a story, Has long as the reader enjoys it and can understand it!. keep writing Keep Smiling :))))

smiley Keep Smiling

Keep Writing xxx

I don't think there is one particular thing that makes a great story. It's kind of like this quote my high school english teacher told us once. I can't remember who the quote was from, or the exact words, but it went something like this: You'll know it's poetry when you feel like the top of your head is going to explode. I think the same is true if you exchange "poetry" with "a good story." Of course, I would maintain that it is an incredibly subjective thing. I found Bartleby The Scrivener to be amazing enough to write a song inspired by it, and write an essay about it. Yet I know many people who found it to be a piece of trash.


Certainly a good story comes from strong characters. You can not go wrong when you have something interesting to tell about someone interesting. Excelsior!
"If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry." -Emily Dickinson


What makes a good meal? Everybody has a different palette! That's why we get menus, but there are fundaments to something that will satisfy. Some people have allergies though and, however it may be served, it will never be for them. With a story, as with a meal, be careful not to use too many ingredients, unless you are knowingly masterful, but too simple and - well, is it a meal at all? I honestly don't know what I look for in a book as I like to try new things - just give me something that smells good and tastes even better.
I think you said it perfectly!


Topic locked