As an avid reader, writer, and watcher of stories, this is something I’m always thinking about.
What makes a story a good story?
You know what the good stories are. You read that book, and now, two years later, you remember it as the best thing you ever read. You completely ignored that story you wrote back in november, but your mind will keep wandering back to it, desperately wanting to edit it and share it with the world. You watched that tv show and, despite the slow process of getting it out of the library since Netflix no longer shows it, you keep coming back for more, finishing it through sheer determination and multiple trips to the library.
The Book Thief, The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, To Kill a Mockingbird. All these are good books. Doctor Who, Sherlock, The Princess Bride, Lilo and Stitch. These are good movies/shows. (and these lists are by no means exhaustive. I love tons of other books and movies)
But what is it that draws us to the story and labels it “good”?
A good story is one that reminds us of who we are, what we can be, and what makes life worth living. It’s one with well rounded characters, effortless dialogue, and development: people becoming better people, worlds becoming better worlds.
For everyone, the answer to this question is different, but this is what it means to me. Next time you read a book or watch a movie, try to think of what the definition is for you. What do you look for in characters? In plot? What are you searching for? What is lacking in certain stories?
And when you find the good stories, don’t let them go. Treasure them always.
See ya later,