So ... um, we already have a topic about what annoys you in a story, but I wanted to here what people really enjoy in a story. I mean, for some people a good ending will do it, for others a moral dilemma does it, but for me personally I really just like to read something that I know I never could have thought of, you know, something original.
So basically what I want to hear in this topic is what other people like to read and what will make a story one of their favorites. Because I think that it'd be cool to hear what all you people want!8/12/2008 #1
That's really a question I never really thought about much before. I admit I'm a sucker for romance but so much of it is just the same stuff over and over again.
What I think makes a really great story (but not of course the only way) is to take a classic theme, or story and add a twist.
I mean take starwars, like the biggest hit ever, and what was it? It had the classic hearoic prince, the classic princess, the classic rouge, fighting the clasic fight. But then they add the twist and wha-la. It's the cherished story that everyone loves with the added zing that stopped it from being too predictable.
That's a good point, and that's kinda what I was talking about with being original. I mean, some people (like movie critics and whatnot) can see the beginning of a movie and know exactly how it will end, but with something like Star Wars there is really no way that you can see the ending coming! So yeah, I have to agree with you that a well thought out plot twist can be the difference between a good storyline and a classic!
I forgot to add another thought! ... So I guess I'll say something that's best for Humor stories or stores that you don't want to come of as serious and dramatic. Um ... lately I've been writing a trilogy that I don't want to be depressing even though a bunch of serious stuff is happening in it, and I've also been watching a little bit of Doctor Who (awesome show). Now the thing that I'm saying is basically put in a bunch of small jokes (which are great for quotes!) to cut all the serious stuff and make the story better. Like I like Doctor Who because the Doctor is always spouting off these random funny lines that make the show so great, but without these little lines the story would be so serious it would be depressing. I hope that that makes sense!
I think what makes a good story is a good mix of everything in it, with one or two of the mixes, (a.k.a. fantasy, humor, romance, mystery, etc.), mostly in it. For instance, the popular series Harry Potter is mostly fantasy, while the other leading series of today, (Twilight), has mostly suspense and romance. Both of those series are really well written because they have some humor, mystery, adventure, and a little bit of science fiction mixed in with the plot. That's what I think makes a good story. Also, stopping points that end in exciting or interesting scenes keep the reader reading. I, myself, love the Series of Unfortunate Events books, and hardly any of those books end happily. They have exciting stopping points at the end of the books and have tons of mystery, science fiction, and rather sarcastic humor involved in them. Readers just like interesting, original stories, I guess, because that's what draws them to stories: Plots that anyone could have thought of that always seem interesting, even when re-read.
I totally know what your saying! Like in the musical Oliver Twist (don't know if anyone's seen it) the story is like SOOOOOOOOO depressing, but all the songs (well most of them) are really upbeat and happy. Without the songs the whole thing would be so sad no one would read it.8/12/2008 #6
Are you kidding! Of course I've seen the movie! That's a classic! But that kinda touches on the note I brought up earlier about how a serious, depressing story can be cheered up by something else, only I hadn't thought of music, that is a point! ... I mean, I'm not about to learn to read music and play instruments so that I can try to compose something cool, but I have used like descriptions of a serious character to funny.
And I can understand what Cinnia Aine was saying about diverse topics ... all except for the mystery. Idk, I tend to think that any good book should keep you guessing, so maybe that's something good to bring up in this topic anyway. But yeah, the only problem with that is that if a writer writes a series of books and each of them feature the same characters and a continuing plot, but some books are heavier in one genre than the others, it can kinda bore the readers. For instance, I've heard that the Harry Potter series just gets darker and darker as it progresses, now those books may attract some readers and lose some. But I guess that since the series is overall rather well written, the fans put up with the big change, but if it weren't so well written, it'd be liable to lose a lot of readers. Does that make any sense at all?
|R.E.D. the animator
Quite the opposite! If you compare any number of classic books to Harry Potter you'll see that it's terribly written. One thing that did make Harry Potter so successful originally is that it had been written for children.
On another note, I may have discovered the greatest way to make good stories ever! But Double AA wont let me tell you.8/23/2008 #8
Okay ... I've never read them and I'm never going to, so I'll take your word for it. I just meant that as an example, but you probably get what I meant ...
And about the greatest way to make good stories ever, way to be anti-climactic! But I'll live if I never find out what it is.8/23/2008 #9
Harry Potter is brilliant!!! It is a classic!8/23/2008 #10
Harry Potter isn't my scene, but alot of people like it. Anyways, funny stories have always grabbed my atention, like 13 Clocks by James Thurber, I think. I'm currently making a comedy on the site and I'm trying to make it original, with references to my favorite movies, and trying to make it clean. To me, that's what makes a story, original and clean. And sometimes the moral message. (If anyone is interested in reading my story, please review it!)9/2/2008 #11
Yeah, original and clean those are two big things for me too. I won't read anything that isn't clean, and original is just ... well hard to come by!
Also, I read your You know your an Author and thought that it was very funny and, in some parts, true.9/2/2008 #13
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.9/2/2008 #14
No problem, man.9/3/2008 #15
Something funny, unique and unpredictable. I'd like to add dark romance inside it too -- and I love sick, twisted fictions.4/28/2009 #16
Haha, I make all my stories dark, but usually never serious. I have two dark comedies and a dark Star Wars meets The Punisher-esque story..4/28/2009 #17
For me, a story is broken into conflict and resolution.
the conflict in the story has to be interesting and original. The resolution has to be a satisfying end that provokes some sort of emotional reaction.
I very much enjoy witty dialogue in the story though.
btw, hiii! :)7/21/2009 #18
For me, I either like a story to just be something comical to entertain me, or for it to grab me into the characters problems as they try to get though them. If the story is just goign to be a emotional story, then I want to be able to relate and care about the characters.7/25/2009 #19
- Strong characters who have unique voices: I don't want every character to be written the same way.
- A well-constructed world. Even if the writer is setting their story in a real location, it's excellent to see when they've shown their work about a place. When a story's set in a fictional world, I like to see that same amount of depth in the world that the writer's built, if not more.
- If it's a humorous story, I like to see a balance between well-written narrative and dialogue. It's fine if the dialogue is astoundingly funny and the narrative is a little drab, but I've found that the best examples of comedy writing (ah, Good Omens, where would I be without you?) have dialogue and narrative that raise a laughs, at least for me.
- Comedy needs good pacing: Unless the story's supposed to be an easy going slice-of-life type of thing, comedy sounds and reads much better if it's snappy. A balance between short and longer sentences often works, especially if the setup is 'long sentence: feed line + short sentence: punch line.'4/13/2010 #20
|A Fire Rose
No matter what the plot is, a person has to care about the characters, or else the plot is rendered useless. Exceptions to this are rare, because the plot would have to be absolutely mind-blowing. If a person cares about the characters, then the plot can even be cliche and the story would still be enjoyed. But if an author manages to create lovable characters, and ones the reader can relate to, then it also helps to construct an original plot. I also love sensory detail, so if I can see some pretty image and be able to think of how it sounds or smells, I will be interested in the story. Unexpected twists are always good. And I'm a sucker for a happy ending, even if it's a little bittersweet. But no matter how well-done the plot is, and sometimes they're done better with a sad ending, I want to feel better after I read the story than before. Otherwise, I just regret it.10/14/2011 #21
I love anything dark/scary/secret and the way to really make me cry is yeah, the three punch with the totally innocent dying and... yeah. This is random and I know it and how do you make enters on these forums?!?4/9/2012 #22
i totally agree with the originality. this is something I look for in every story, regardless of the genre. And depth, stories without some layers and depth are just plain and boring. And I like a story where the characters can think and you learn bit by bit about them as the story unfolds. And I like it when writers do not over describe a character. It is always better to leave some room for my imagination.8/2/2013 #23
ICE COOLED MANGOES.
Shamu lived with his mother and brother on the outskirt of the town. His brother had a big family and was working for a trader, dealing in grocery. He was employed as a munshi or the accountant, which was a skilled job, and you had to learn a special script of lande to do the accounts in, a sort of strange short hand for quicker entries. The account book had long white yellowish sheets which were folded over, thus to reduce the length for easy upkeep. These were tied over with a string and all the books were stored neatly in chronological order by the banya, the shopkeeper.
The brother had only one aim in life, of making money at all cost and would sacrifice anything for its sake. He was a hardworking man and was paid enough to keep the wolf away from the door. He was not satisfied fully with his job and used to flutter on satta during evenings or in his lunch break. Satta was like a stockexchange where you bought and sold certain amount of stocks and if the price went up, you gained money and the other way around ended in loss and heartbreak. The funny thing was that no actual sale of things took place and it was done all in abstractions. It was simply based on the listed commodity market, on which you had to base your betting.
Suppose you bought hundred units of grain at certain price prevalent on the day you bought and agreed to sell it a week hence, if the price of grain went up you ran a profit. There were authorized dealers dealing in this sort of sattabetting. The place was a noisy one and you could hear its din nearly half a mile away. The punters were frantic with strange hand symbols and gestures while indulging in their favourite business deals. Mankind can get hooked easily in these betting lures.
He spent his evenings and spare time perusing papers and magazines, studying commodity markets and soon acquired certain knowledge of commodity markets. On the whole he made profit on his deals and was very satisfied with his life.
Shamu was not interested in this side of life. He did not like this 'thinking game' where you had to analyze everything. You took decisions using only your rationality and in the long run you were bound to deal in abstractions as authorized by your rational brain. He did not like this 'game of abstractions'. He carried this mode into his schooling also. He hated learning multiplication tables and other mathematical stuff. It was simply neither here nor there. He wanted to be spontaneous tasting all the juices of life and not making his mind up.
' Thinking' was the curse of the majority and he had to avoid it at all costs.
Worse than this was having 'aims in his life' which was simply unbearable to him, as you become a slave to your ambitions and are dragged by these masters through your life. Life was for living and not for having an aim.
Carrying out theses notions, it was no wonder that he did not do well at the school and had to drop out when reaching his grade eight and it was such a relief, being snatched away from the jaws of the devil.
His brother took charge and had him working as his assistance in the shop, but it was all a mistake to him, as he abhorred accountancy as much as he abhorred the multiplication tables. It was simply beyond one's ability to 'think' all the time. He carried on for another two years, doing other menial jobs in the shop. He used to make tea in the winter for the staff and the customers when prompted to do so. In summer he had to go across the street fetching glasses of iced water and sherbets, which he enjoyed. Walking and buying multicoloured sherbets to him was spontaneity in itself and no 'thinking' work was involved.
He was back in his usual mood of being 'spontaneous' and so gave up his work in the shop. Soon he saw a poster asking for porters in the local railway station, to which he applied and to his great delight was accepted, on a part time basis; learning the job of the coolie or the railway porter.
The railway station was a swell place, a universe in itself. It seemed that that everybody was on the move and indulged in traveling the length and breadth of India. Old women with clicking sandals walking, which measured all the lengths of platforms. This was either to straighten their legs or just watching other people for amusement. They have brought their little trunks and bedding and were making themselves comfortable across the waiting rooms. Some of them had friends and distant relations spread all over India and were busy in traveling to their places, one by one and spending a month or so with each, to give them comfort and benefit of their wisdom and of course having nice meals and good company to enjoy in exchange. If you have ten or twelve relations, you could spend your entire year visiting or even entire life (or what is left of it).
They had truly learnt the art of traveling, taking in the all difficulties and complications of railway timetables. Their strength consisted in taking it easy all the time and keeping a smile on their face, however tedious the journey may be. They were past annoyances of any kind and overcame hurtful remarks by other people about their old age; by just ignoring them
These old ladies were keen on tasting all the foods provided by vendors, hawkers and other food sellers on the platform. They were having puri-aloos, samosas, aloo-chanas and all that, washing it down with lassi or tea. The people have arranged themselves into groups as to pass the time, they were telling each other stories about their wicked daughter in laws and son in laws, who always starved them but their grand children were lovely. After all their sons and daughters in their eyes were still only kids and what would you expect from them? The men were smoking beeris, chewing pans and occasionally drinking earthen pots full scented tea.
It was such a romantic place, big hunks of engines were strolling down the iron tracks hooting, frightening children and dogs; dragging the carriages along like the mums with kids in the morning school runs. And just look at those mind-expanding names of different trains, Punjab Mail, Howrah Express, Deccan Queen. Here was a world to Shammu's liking and it was all spontaneous and free.
Only things he did not like were the carrying of heavy luggage on his head. The experienced coolies carried a pyramid of trunks on their head, balanced it like an accomplished athlete and still occupied their hands with small bags. They looked splendid in their red uniforms with shiny brass number plates. When he was on duty, he looked for passengers with the least amount of baggage, as he did not want to strain his head or neck.
The other thing he hated was the attitude of passengers with middle or upper middle class tendencies. They thought themselves above coolies and ordinary people and shouted over him in a shrill, insulting voice. Such as 'Oi! Coolie' ' take this or that and carry it carefully' and at the end of the job always wanted to cut down even on his fixed fees. They were the miserable sorts who had not the capacity of generosity of heart, by giving him like a little baksheesh sometime.
After the end of his duty, while going home, he began to pass through the big bazaar to look at the shops, people and specially sellers of hot peanuts, jasmined garlands, astrologers and their green parakeets. Once he saw an illuminated sign called 'Paradise House' across the street and out of curiosity went into it. He liked the green bulbs and electric lights illuminating the whole place into a haze of green. People were sitting on the tables and chairs drinking, laughing and enjoying themselves. Soon he realized that it was sharab khana or a drinking place. To observe the people closely, he sat on a chair and the waiter came running for his order. He did not know anything about drinks but some how ordered half a glass of desi sharab and when he took the first sip it was like a fire and nearly choked him. He thought people were looking at him out of curiosity. He steadied himself and slowly began to take more sips. Soon the burning sensation ceased and a sort of heightened calm issued forth. He liked it.
He thought he had found a heaven in the drinking house and began to frequent it more often. His life was on the right track with gifts of railway station and the drinking house thrown in. Sometime he had too much to drink and when he went home, he was greatly rebuked by his mother and other family members. One day when during his drinking session at the Paradise, he was visited by a hawker selling sweet mangoes and when he tasted it, oh God it was like something he had never tasted. Its thick sour sweet juice had a profound effect on his palette, which went straight to his stomach and gullet perfuming it, like the ras malai. He resolved to buy some ripe sweet mangoes himself on the following day, together with an icebox to cool them.
On the following day after finishing his work he brought a kilo of best mangoes in the markets, an icebox and a slab of ice from the shop; wrapped it around in a woolen garment to carry it home. He washed the mangoes, mashed the ice and put the mangoes into the icebox packing it with the mashed ice. He reckoned that it would take about two hours for the mangoes to be ready. In the meantime he would walk around the bazaar to get into the right mood swing.
The bright lights of the streets were attractive and especially the green lights of the drinking house. He would just go inside just to enjoy the sight. He went in and sat on a bench and the waiter whom he was familiar with brought him a drink but he was not going to drink anything. The liquid in the glass looked perfect and reluctantly he took a sip, it was Ok to have a tiny drink. There was no harm in having a few sips. Was there? No there was not, he was a man who could drink a great deal without getting into a state. When he finished, he wanted to have another glass. The taste of the drinks soon overpowered his weak will and soon it was closing time. How the time has passed and it was after midnight already. He started his homeward journey with a bit of stagger.
When he reached home, door was locked and bolted from inside. He knocked but no one answered it. On the third knock, a child screamed and a man's voice asked who it was.
Shamu pleaded with his brother to let him in but a voice told him to go away as he was drunk and disturbing the children. He kept knocking with greater force and his brother came to inside the door and asked him what did he want at this time of the night and he pleaded with him to let him have his iced mangoes. After a minute the door was opened and a ghoul appeared with blood shot eyes with a box in his arms.
Shamu was going to be attacked by that horrible bhoot and he raised his arms to protect himself.
' I never thought that a day will come when you will raise a fist to strike your own brother. I am thoroughly disgusted with you.' He heard his. brother's chocked voice.
'Here are your bloody mangoes and I hope they will choke you.'
He flung the box towards him, the box was shattered with ice scattered all over. The mangoes followed and began to roll across the pavement till they were near the open drain and jumped into it one by one , performing hara kari.
Shamu's world collapsed. Every body was against him – the crowd, his brother and even the mangoes. There was nobody with him.
Despondently he looked at the sky, brilliant stars beckoned.
' We are with you!' they said.
His gloom lifted for a moment and his eyelids became heavy with sleep and exhaustion. He stretched himself on the steps and in the heat of the night it felt cool and inviting. All was not lost. In the morning he will plead with his brother for his forgiveness. A dark deep liquid advanced on his brain and soon he was asleep and snoring; happy with the knowledge that he was being looked after by his friends in the sky.
Durlabh Singh 2013.11/29/2013 #24
AUBERGINE GIRL11/29/2013 #25
There lived a poor Brahmin couple and had a little cottage with a thatched roof.
They were so poor that most of the time they could not afford to buy any food and in order to stave off hunger, they searched the countryside for herbal foods and any edible grasses.
They did not have any children and were glad to be so. They could not bear to have seen their child suffering from hunger. Once they were searching for wild food, they came across a plant with shiny purple fruits and plucked some of these fruits to take home.
They cooked some of the fruits but saved the seeds and planted them in their little garden.
With the passage of the time a small plant issued forth from the ground and in the heat of summer sun it began to grow forth. In the middle of the season there issued a purple flower on the plant, beautifying the whole garden with its hue. The couple liked to look at it and spend their days in the garden, sitting and admiring the beautiful creation. Slowly the flower began to wither and they were so sad to see it dying and sat no more in the garden. But one day they noticed a small purple fruit with luxurious growth of leaves. They went to have a closer look and it was really a small aubergine fruit and they were so glad to have it in their very own garden.
And the fruit grew and grew till it became bigger than the length of their hand. Its shiny purple surface was a joy to watch and though they were hungry they did not have the heart to pluck it and eat it. They had to look for other foods in the scrublands but as the dry season began, the wild growing herbs and fruits vanished and the fear of starvation came close to hand. They have not eaten for two days and the pangs of hunger overwhelmed their reasons and they decided to eat the fruit growing in the garden.
The plucked it and washed it and as the brahmin woman tried to slice it, she heard a tiny voice imploring her to be gentle and not hurt it. The woman looked around to see where the voice was coming from but there was no one present. Thinking that she was imagining things on account of her starvation, she picked the fruit again and tried to slice it again and the same voice came through. Shocked she ran off and told her husband about it. They regretted plucking the fruit and pondered about the whole episode. There was no alternative course of action, they must have that sliced aubergine food or they were going to die of starvation.
This time the husband was charged for slicing the fruit gently and lo something dropped out of it when last slice was in place. They looked down and it was most exquisite creature and it grew and turned into a sweet figure of a girl. The couple jumped and hugged the gentle creature with a delicate touch afraid that they might hurt that fragile form. They had no child of their own and were anxious to adopt her as their daughter and named her aubergine girl. Life became sweeter for the couple and they showered all their love on her.
She told them that she was the spirit of that plant and would help the couple in any way they liked. They told her that they were starving and would like her help in acquiring some food for their hungry bellies.
The girl cast a spell on the garden and all sorts of plants began to grow there mostly of edible variety and they were so thankful for having that beautiful creature as their daughter and also have all the delicacies cooked for their food. They were no more starving and they were thankful for that.
The news of the beauty of the girl began to spread far and wide and p and quest for beauty. It happened that there was a rich women living in the village and thought herself to be superior to all the women of the district in all the aspects of life. She was rich, beautiful and could command all the men under her seductive glances. When she heard about the beauty of the girl, she did not like it. Everyone was talking about and singing the praises of the brahmin's daughter and she could not stand it. This jealousy planted a seed of evil in her mind.
She called upon the brahmin's house to see the girl and was stung by her beauty but she concealed her evil intents under the guise of friendship. She took few gifts for her and her parents as to overcome their suspicions and invited the girl to her house for a meal and which she accepted. It was grand meal but she had put some slow acting poison in her meals and when the girl was drugged she began to ask her all sorts of things under the guise of friendship. This woman knew that the girl was not of human origin and must have other seeds of origin. She managed to coax the girl into divulging her secret about her soul being the spirits of the plants growing around her adopted parent's house.
She waited for the girl to linger in her agony and in the middle of night she raided the garden and destroyed all the plants. Dark clouds gathered and a storm rose at her death.
Her parents waited for her to arrive back but she never returned and the brahmin couple lost all their interest in life and slowly died of grief and starvation. The strange truth was that when two of them died, they did not leave any bodily remains behind.
The rich woman was happy and did not regret the murder of the girl and the dying agony of her parents. She was the fairest in all the land and it did matter to her. After few years the things began to change and the rich woman began to age prematurely and loose
her matchless beauty. Looking at her reflection in the mirror, she was horrified to see a haggard face of an old woman. Screaming and howling she went about the garden and asking pardon for her sins and offered her life in exchange for remove the curse. Gradually she went out of her mind and took her life.
The withered garden showed signs of new growth and began to bloom again. An aubergine plant burst forth and the large shiny purple fruit appeared and out of it the resurrected body of the girl appeared. Her parents' spirits also got revived and with that their bodies appeared again. The house bloomed and with it the garden. Three of them lived together in that land of beauty and love.
Durlabh Singh 2013.
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