Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What do you look for in a story?

What do you look for in a story? 
by Lynne Gentry

In keeping with our family tradition, we went to the movies Christmas night. All of us were dying to see Les Miserables … okay maybe not ALL of us were looking forward to a musical … but it was my year to choose. After we bought the popcorn, I worried 160 minutes of actors bursting into song might send my family over the edge. But I didn't need to fret for long. The power of Victor Hugo’s epic tale of an underdog's journey to redemption captured our attention from the gritty chain-gang overature. By the victorious finale, all of us were swiping tears. Days later I’m still contemplating the extraordinary mettle of the hero Jean Valjean.

Has a story ever moved you so much you couldn’t forget it?

Here are FIVE story elements that move me:

1. Big themes like love, mercy, justice, freedom, redemption.

2. Reluctant heroes struggling with their moral compass or a problem bigger than themselves.

3. Adventure that sweeps me into worlds I will only get to visit in my mind.

4. Humor.

5. And finally, romance. Who doesn’t long to love?

When I'm launching modern characters into ancient adventures, I work to incorporate these elements into my stories. What do you look for in a good story? Escape? Adventure? Mindless fluff? I'd love to hear from you, dear readers.

Lynne Gentry is a wife, mother, author, speaker, acting coach, and dramatist. Lynne knew marrying a preacher might change her plans. She didn't know how ministry would change her life. This author of numerous short stories and dramatic works travels the country as a professional acting coach and inspirational speaker. Lynne lives in Dallas with her husband Lonnie and counts spending time with her two grown children and their families her greatest joy.

Reinventing Leona

1 comment:

Lisa Phillips said...

I've loved Les Mis for a long time - even seen it in the theater twice! It's true that it wouldn't be the same if it didn't have that EPIC feel to it.

Great stories are like that. They resonate long after The End.

Thanks for your post!