Whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, or a memoir you’re writing, a good story is deemed good when it is told well. There are things to keep in mind to assure this is your result. As a writer, do you understand the basics about storytelling? Shouldn’t you just write what you feel like writing? Maybe, maybe not.

Story is what every fiction, non-fiction, and memoir is ultimately about. There’s much to say about story, but I’ll provide a few tidbits for now.
 There are archetypal stories and stereotypical stories.
 An archetypal story reveals and shares a universal human experience, even if there are unique cultural specifics involved.
 A stereotypical story tends to be short on quality content and form; it focuses on non-specific generalities or hopes to match another commercial success. Though its words fill space on the page, the story is empty and leaves readers feeling empty, if they continue to read it, that is.
 Stereotypical stories seem to stay in one place—there is little change of any significance in plot or characters.
 Archetypal stories take people on a journey, preferably an inner and outer journey.

Good storytelling does not take shortcuts such as fill page space with empty content and events or undeveloped characters. Every scene moves the plot and character development forward in some specific way, whether fiction, non-fiction (content/theme), or a memoir. Scenes work as they should when they elicit some emotion, which can include humor.

Story is about storytelling, not trying to guarantee sales. No one can guarantee that, especially for a first book. But every book needs to tell a good story and tell it well. It must create a movie in the minds of readers.
Aim at excellence rather than to be a copycat of what’s working in the marketplace now. By the time your book is published or self-published, what was hot when you started may no longer be hot. Have a desire to reach inside the minds and hearts of your readers—you want your words to speak to them in some way. You want them to relate in some way. Do not confuse original storytelling with eccentricity just for the sake of filling page space. Just to be different, without a true purpose behind it for plot and character development or content/theme, and genuine respect for readers, will not create desired results for a writer who wishes his or her work to be read and appreciated.

Good storytelling can accomplish many things:
 Brings fresh insights about what motivates people.
 Causes us to consider the changes life brings and how we feel about them or how we might respond or react to them.
 Causes us to look at lies, truth, and motive in, perhaps, a new way.
 Gives us windows to peer into that reveal more about humanity and human nature than we’ve previously known or considered.
 Allows us to vicariously experience inner and outer sensations, to use our senses while sitting still.
 Lets our imaginations play and feel good about doing so.
 Lets us witness restorations—including of love, balance, justice.
 Makes us laugh out loud.
 Its use of words and phrases can cause us to pause and reflect or use a highlighter to mark a passage that speaks to us.
 We can wear our “whodunit” cap and try to solve the mystery.
 Lets us observe contradictions and conflicts with our feet safely tucked under us and a soothing mug of steaming tea nearby.
 Takes us into beauty, as well as into its opposite.
 Relates our own life experiences to those of the characters or to imagine ourselves as the characters in unfamiliar circumstances or realms.

A good story can do these and more, but it must be told well. This involves not just the words and how they are sequenced, but the technical matters such as correct punctuation, proper paragraphing, scene breaks, plot and character development, proper use of setting, flow, dialogue that also includes actions so that characters are not just talking heads. It must answer questions for readers that the plot has presented, and must wrap up the story in a way that satisfies even if all indications are that a sequel will be needed (or, hopefully, desired by readers). It must have enough description but not so much that it detracts from the experience and flow. It must have balance between narrative, dialogue (when appropriate to the story), and action. It must stay real, which even Science Fiction and Fantasy must adhere to within their created worlds.

Whether a story is fiction, non-fiction, or a memoir, a good story told well takes us into a world we wish to visit, even if not to live in, so we have experiences, gain knowledge or wisdom, or are entertained in a way that is pleasing, enjoyable, or meaningful for us. This is what you want to give to your readers, as well as to yourself as a writer.

I wish you the best with your writing and progress.

Author's Bio: 

Need a Book Doctor or an incentive to write or complete your manuscript? Let Joyce L. Shafer be your writing coach, developmental editor, or provide a critique. Details about her services at http://editmybookandmore.weebly.com/