If you’re anything like me, one of your favorite reasons to read is for the story. Not for the character development and interaction. Not because of the descriptive, emotive powers of the writer. Not because of deep, literary meaning hidden beneath layers of metaphor. (Even though those are all good things.) No … it’s because you want to know what happens next?
Or, um, is it just me?
Yes, yes, YES!! The story is the thing! Give me a good story and I will follow you anywhere.
Storytelling is so basic to who we are as humans. Our family stories and cultural stories are passed down through parents and grandparents, teachers and leaders. It’s how we teach, entertain, and inform our young children- at bedtime, around campfires, at the dinner table. Kids love a good story; they lap it up like ice cream melting on a hot day, and some of us never grow out of that desire to know- what happens next?
Characters are important, of course, but you can take the most interesting character, plop him into a book, and give him nothing to do, and what have you got? A boring book with an interesting character. Or you can have an average Joe character, plunk him down into an action-packed adventure- and voila! You’ve got a page-turner. Of course if you can get BOTH- the interesting character AND the great story- well, that’s what all of us readers are looking for, right? But first and foremost is the story.
I want the great story. I want to be propelled forward with a need to know how things will all turn out. I want to be so sucked into the story that I forget what’s going on around me. I want to laugh, cry, be surprised. I want to be entertained. I want to care. A great story does that.
Here are some recent stories that did all that for me:
Posted on August 28, 2008 by Lisa Munley