Skip to main content

What I Like in a Story

Jo Seated on the Old Sofa by                                                       ....Norman Rockwell
I like fearless authors.  Not that they are writing things that they shouldn't ("fools rush in where angels fear to tread") but they are fearless in what they do write.  They write because they believe.

I like things to feel real.

I like villains who you hate but wish that you could have been there earlier to keep them from becoming a villain.  The author Alfred Ollivant introduced me to that in Bob, Son of Battle.  I was pretty young when I read that novel, and most of the stories intended for my age had a simply evil villain that you never understood or tried to understand.  How different were the villains of Bob, Son of Battle!  You understood why everyone hated them, and yet a small part of your heart cried for the villain.

I like a good mix of action, philosophy, dialogue, and description.

I like a writer that will make me laugh.  I don't mean a comedy novel but something that will, somewhere in its pages, pull a laugh out of me.  Sometimes it is a funny scene, sometimes it is a bit of wit, and sometimes it is an unexpected comparison.

I like a writer that makes me feel clever.  When a writer trusts my intellect to understand him or to understand a reference he makes, that makes me feel clever...unless, of course, I don't understand him...in which case I might dismiss him as stupid for not being able to explain himself better.  Readers can be so unmerciful at times.

...which leads me to my next point: I like a story that is easy to read.  Some writers have a flow with their words that is nearly profound in its simplicity.  A book does not have to be difficult in order to be great.

I like a description that is so unique and yet vivid that I can instantly see the picture and feel its heartbeat.

I like a story that will inspire me, that will make me think, and that will thrust me toward action.  I like stories with good morals and good points to make. 

I like an author who can capture my deepest feelings and put them into words with such an eloquence that matches my inmost thoughts.  It's not easy to convert an inmost thought into eloquent words, but there is a place in my core that sings -- almost like a violin string vibrating under a bow -- when it meets its essence in print. 

What do you like in a story?


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Guest Post by Emily!

Character Creation by Emily Ann Putzke
My character in Ain’t We Got Fun is Georgiana (Gi) Rowland, the older sister of Bess. Their family is struggling during the Great Depression, so Gi takes off for NYC to make a fortune and help them out. The sisters recount their adventures, joys and heartaches to each other. My co-author, Emily Chapman, and I wrote this story in letter form in January. Our characters are very different people! Here are a 5 things that helped me bring Gi to life, and give her a personality that’s all her own.
1.  Give Your Characters Flaws None of us are perfect, so our characters shouldn't be either. Gi is a fun, loyal, light hearted girl with big dreams. But she has a flaw that she struggles with throughout the entire story. Pride. She’s very stubborn, independent, and doesn’t want anything from anybody.
2. Use That Flaw to Stretch and Change Your Character Pride gets Gi in quite a few scrapes. Throughout AWGF, she’s constantly battling with it. Everytime she thi…

Is that a catastrophe happening, way over yonder?

The next scene in my story is meant to be an important one.  Readers get to meet the dwarves in their own evil lair.  My heroine is tormented for their selfish purposes.  Big scene.

     But when I started writing it, it looked incredibly detached and boring.  "Yeah, look over there.  See those dwarves by the table?  They are tormenting our heroine.  Very sad.  The cottage is cute, though."  The scene just wasn't working.  And my story has been sitting in stasis awaiting inspiration.

     Last night, I flopped on the floor to daydream and snuggle my dog.  For a while, I let my mind wander here and there.  But gradually I came to my senses and realized that the first thing I felt on "awaking" was the hard floor.

     Suddenly, I was Moriah, regaining consciousness.  Hard floor.  Noises.  Light.  Hands on my hair.  And the scene came alive for me.  I could hardly wait to get up and start writing again.

     So, if your scene is too detached, try lying on the…

Rooglewood Countdown: 9 1/2 weeks: Why Yours?

Yep, time is picking up speed.  Especially since I have other things to keep me busy.
     Here is my questions for you today: what makes your story special?  In the comments below, I want you to finish this sentence "It's a Snow White story, but..."  Did you change the setting?  Is Snow White the ugliest in all the land?  How did you swap out the elements of your story to make it unique?