There are many elements that combined can make a good story. By good story, I mean a story that can pull a reader into the world weaved with believable characters and a dynamic plot and hold the reader there until the end of the story.
The first aspect that helps to make a good story is point of view. The perspective that a story is told through can either reveal an interesting, relatable story or an unreliable one. The point of view, the eyes through which a story is narrated, has to be done through a character who is central to the storyline and plot. Someone who’s right in the middle of the action and can relay important information.
Setting is also an important aspect of a story. The setting is the time and place in which a story is told. If someone’s going to write a story that they want to effectively convey a real visual in his or her readers’ minds he or she must write the setting with the right amount of description and have good word choice to really bring the world of the story to life. There doesn’t need to be an overload of description to make a setting believable. Describing the setting immediately around the character and the action happening with suffice to paint a vivid picture in the readers’ minds.
Scene choice and dialogue are essential parts of a story that make it a reader delve into the story or pull out and put the book down without a second thought. Major scenes need to be written that flow from one main point or step in the path and journey of the story. Minor scenes need to be written to calm the flow of a story so there isn’t one big arc or action right after another. This gives the reader time to breath and reflect on how the story is progressing thus far and where the story is heading. Dialogue doesn’t need to be used on every page or even in every scene. Dialogue in a good story should move the story forward, not take away or disrupt the flow of the storyline. When writing dialogue, it should be written as if these are real people communicating and the words they speak should realistic. Dialogue that has nothing to do with the plot or the character’s emotions should be omitted because they pull the readers out of the story and disrupt the action flow.
Plot and conflict are important to a good story because without them the story would have no real point and would be just a mess of words without logic or order. Conflict is the very essence of a story because it’s the difficulty or challenge presented for the characters to deal with and overcome. There has to be conflict, a beginning, a middle, and an end to any story to make it compelling enough for the readers to stay with it throughout the entire story.
Tone of voice sets the mood for the story because if there’s no real tone of voice the story becomes dull and boring. The characters won’t be as appealing or interesting as they could’ve been. In order to convey tone of voice in a story to make it worth reading, there needs to be emotion. The tone sets up the build for emotion, so does tension. The suspense and anticipation mixed with the mindset and tone of voice of the characters in any given situation moves the story forward and keeps the readers guessing what will happen next.
Lastly, but not least important, is the characters themselves. Characters that are dynamic, honest, believable, relatable, and overall well-rounded drive the story and the plot entirely. It is through the characters that the readers see the world and experience the action and unravel the mysteries with. Readers need to be able to get into the characters’ minds and wholeheartedly invest their time in.
The point of view, setting, description, word choice, dialogue, scenes, conflict, tone of voice, plot, and characters are the key elements that make a believable and good story.