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.
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.