Updated: Jan 18, 2019
~ For as long as I can recall, I've responded to people's descriptions of their dreams, or some wild experience they had, with comments like "Now THAT would make a great book!". But not once did I write it down to actually use for one (until recently, that is). See, to me, there's nothing better than a really good story. But, as I grow older, I find myself turning into a bit of a story snob. Maybe it's also a little of our ADD/short attention span culture. To be clear, I'm not a person that only reads books by big-name authors (I'm actively looking for a site that has a good selection of recommended indie authors, so please comment with any suggestions), but I am a person that needs a story to hold my ever-wandering attention. I need it to start off with a high level of intrigue. Although the payoff may be bigger for books with a slow-burn kind of build-up, I wouldn't know because my attention span can't wait. Most of all, the story itself must be a good one. Just because you hear a story, or one pops into your head, does not mean it's worth telling. That's an easy thing to say, but great pacing, excellent narrative, and expertly crafted execution won't save a book if the story just isn't interesting. I mention these things because that is my philosophy in writing. Like all of you authors, I read, and re-read my own work countless times. Each time, I try to imagine myself reading it for the first time, to see if I'd be able to stay interested as a virgin reader of the material. If I don't think I could, I change it.
What makes a good story? That's a question everyone will answer differently. For me, it's one that weaves a tale of believable mysteries, taking sharp (and unexpected) turns here or there, and leaving me with an ending that I did not see coming. Oh, and it needs to have a dash of something dark or twisted in there. No unicorns and butterflies here.