One might think this is cut & dried. Clear as daylight. Not even worth the time it takes for me to type. But they would be wrong…dead wrong.
I realize this is a very bold statement, but what would be the point of writing if I am not making a important point, and writing something of value to any that read it? Quite simply, there would be no point in such a thing. So let’s break it down and analyze this. Suspend your disbelief for a moment and open your mind.
Every story is good. That’s right, even a story about chewing your fingernails can be good, if your approach to it is correct. What I am trying to get at, is that it’s not so much the story that matters, it is how we execute it, how we deliver it to the minds of our readers. Some might consider this a matter of semantics and are welcome to do so, but that does not make it untrue. That only says that you cannnot find a reason to disagree.
What makes every story good is the fact it is YOUR story. You must therefore own it, become it, and reveal it, in a way that keeps a reader’s attention. A proficient writer should be able to take a boring story and make it good. In fact, I highly recommend trying this to see if you are a decent writer. If you can’t do this basic thing, you should probably look for another career.
If we follow and believe the basic premise that all stories are good, and only the execution of said story needs to be done well, then this leads us to one simple fact. In order to rise above the pack and separate yourself as a great writer, you must learn how to write beyond good. You must learn to write great stories. But what separates the two?
Now that question is a little bit tricky and truthfully most any proficient writer could write an entire piece on that alone. But for the purposes of this article, I will just graze the surface and get to the meat of it.
The difference between a good story and a great one is depth. A good story entertains…a great story entertains and educates. This is most often done through well delivered sub-text and the fluidity of words. The more comfortable a reader is with what they are reading, the more they are likely to find your wave length and discover that deeper meaning, you have cleverly deposited within the story. When the reader understands and sees that depth, that is proof positive that you have written a great story.
Now that we have learned and mastered writing a great story, you might think we are done, but that is simply not true. For any true writer, writing a great story should never be the end goal. That should be a starting point. The ultimate goal should be to write an amazing story. Again, we must ask, what is the difference?
I am going to keep the answer simple. Not because I am lazy. Not because I don’t know how to explain it. Not because I need to keep your attention. I am going to keep it simple to make a point. An amazing story has one key element a great story does not. It changes directions, when you least expect it, and surprises you.