A Good Story

What is it that makes a good story? I’m rereading Jane Eyre for enjoyment and to see how Charlotte Bronte wrote the book. Already in the early pages, the reader is Jane Eyrerooting for a hero and hopes the “bad guy, Mrs. Reed” doesn’t succeed.

Read an early Harry Potter story. The writing Harry Potteris weak, but the story is strong.

Some say no to this kind of battle. “Everyone is the hero of their own story,” they say. Present the characters truthfully, and you’ll have your story.

Some writers are so fair to their characters that you don’t start rooting for one or the other until you’ve read half the book. I suppose there are some stories where you don’t get emotionally involved with either character.

What is your opinion? The bad guy up front right away? Slow development of the characters? No bad guy?

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4 responses to “A Good Story

  1. I don’t personally think it matters as long as you, the reader, gets something out of the story. I do think the bad guy should be brought to the front fairly early, but not necessarily as ‘bad’ to the reader, but maybe just something you don’t like about that character. He always has sweaty hands or is always stating the obvious in a conversation. Strong characters are a good thing. The reader gets to interact with them. A strong storyline, bang on. The story has to drag the reader kicking and screaming along until the end one way or another. I have stopped reading a book because the story doesn’t do anything for me.
    I also know that what I think is a great story, someone else doesn’t agree. It’s like looking at a painting in a museum. You stand in front of it loving it and someone comes up and says, “It’s too blue, what’s with all the stars?” Not everyone likes the same books.

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