What Every Good Story Needs

By on March 19, 2019

If you are starting out writing a story, it’s a good idea to put your pen down for a moment or switch off your computer and reflect a while on all the great stories you’ve read in the past and what components they’ve had in common that make them so imminently readable?

Understanding what it is that every good story needs, and weeding out the common factors that make them so can act as a sort of checklist you can use to keep your own work on the right track.

So what are some of the common elements that good stories contain? Let’s explore them.


A good story needs to be enticing, engaging and exciting. In short, it needs to have flair. Stories without flair are flat, tedious to read and downright dull. So what is it about your story that gives it flair? Let your imagination run wild, and be as bold and daring as you want to be! That’s what will make your book stand out from the crowd.

Charismatic Characters

Without charismatic characters your book can’t stand a chance of connecting with readers and unless your readers feel a connection with the characters they can’t hope to care what happens to them. How do you write charismatic characters? It’s all in the details. Think about the way they speak, act, move, their deep, dark secrets, their trigger points, their interesting features, their histories, their passions, motivations, desires. Whenever you create a character think about how to make that character someone so utterly fascinating, or loveable or repulsive that your readers can’t help but react to them.


Every good story is unique in some way. It’s okay to write in a particular genre or follow a specific already well-trodden path, but you still need to make absolutely sure that your book is unique and original in some way. Copying other writers work and blatantly stealing their ideas never works, and makes you look incompetent and foolish as a writer. So read, learn, adjust, and borrow but make sure that your work is uniquely and brilliantly yours.

Clever imagery and arresting descriptions

Writers should have a love of language, and they should get all spine-tinglingly excited when they write something that ebbs and flows and conjures such a perfectly vivid image that a reader can’t help but find themselves immediately there. Using clever imagery, and linguistic devices that draw readers into your world and immerse them in the story themselves is so important, so always think about how you can use words in beautiful, smart, compelling ways to make your story even more brilliant.

Pacing and adventure

No one wants to read a book where they feel like they are being dragged along by the elbows yawning or wandering around lost and confused. A story should be an adventure, no matter what it’s about and the pace of the plot should speed up and slow down and flow and continuously carry the reader forward until the very last page.

Including the above elements in your book can make it so much more exciting. So remember to take a moment to think about how to make your story great, and then just get on and write it the very best way that you can!

bethany cadman

Bethany Cadman - bethanycadman.co.uk

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