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  • riva pomerantz

    June 30, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    HappiWriter, this is a really great question. I’m going to give you the elevator pitch answer to what I’d say are the ingredients that make a winning story:

    1. Interesting characters that the reader can immediately relate to in a very easy, natural way.

    2. A plotline that includes some kind of true-to-life tension, preferably from the very beginning so the reader is emotionally caught up in the story, hoping to either find out more about how it plays out or hoping to see it resolved properly. Extra points if the reader is tormented to the point that s/he is unsure of whether the story can even be resolved! 😉

    3. Proper buildup of all the elements of the story in a way that the reader feels comfortable with–not too fast, not to slow; not too much info, but no annoying lack of info, culminating in an exciting climax that ties most (doesn’t have to be all, but whatever isn’t tied up should be intentionally left to the reader’s imagination, not due to the writer having no clue how those loose ends should have been resolved 🙂 Just saying…!) of the plot together in a satisfying way.

    1 and 2 are intimately interconnected. 3 is eternally bound up with 1 and 2. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that 1, 2 and 3 are all critically interdependent :-), but there’s still one thing missing: the secret sauce which is voice. Is the voice poignant, sassy, dramatic, comic, empathetic, all of the above? Whatever it is, make it real and relevant.

    Wrap it up in a killer title and you’re good to go!

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