Friday, January 20, 2012
13 Elements of a Good Story
Many elements go into making a book lovable and memorable. The reason we like some books and dislike others is not just because of the writing style or the story, but for several other reasons. I have read many not so great books only because I found the characters worthy of following. Unfortunately these characters were caught in a not so great story. Many other books I have read because I liked the way the plot twists kept me on tenterhooks, though I disliked the language and the writing style was ordinary.
For a book to make the cut, many elements must fall into place. The ones that instantly come to mind, I have listed below.
1. A Strong Protagonist: who beckons the reader into his/her story and makes them follow him/her page after page. The protagonist has to be likeable and has to have a few redeeming qualities which would make a reader chase him /her through the story.
2. A Powerful Antagonist: who evokes immense dislike from the readers. An antagonist so vile that to see the antagonist fall readers will stay awake the entire night to turn the pages.
3. A Unique, Original, and Amazing Setting that makes the readers take an amazing journey into a previously unchartered territory. Settings take time to create, but they are well worth the effort.
4. An Engrossing Conflict that sucks the readers in its grip.
5. Unexpected Twists and Turns of the Story: keeps the readers engrossed.
6. A Generous Sprinkling of Romance: brings a smile on the readers’ faces and makes their hearts flutter.
7. Heart Tugging Emotions: very crucial for the emotional connection with the readers.
8. Rounded, Peripheral Characters : they help in pushing the story forward.
9. Atleast two Strong Subplots that Intersect the Main Plot: this can involve the peripheral characters and is extremely crucial to break the monotony if the main plot slackens.
10. A Gripping Plot: packed with racy scenes that add tension and make it a page turner.
11. Awesome Writing Style: full of vivid and unusual descriptions that tease the senses.
12. Wonderful Dialogues or as I prefer to call them Conversation Pieces that are remembered long after the book has been put down.
13. A Great Resolution ; preferably a Happily Ever After or a resolution that leaves the readers satisfied with the way the story has ended.
Do you think there are other elements that I have overlooked? Is there any other element that is crucial? Please share with us. Not only are we keen to hear about it, we can also add it into our next manuscript and perhaps get close to writing an awesome book.
P.S. I suddenly realized that Friday had crept up on me and I had not written a post. So, I cheated by reposting an older post with a few changes. Hope cheating is allowed once in a while.