What makes a good story?

“Listen, guys,”  I told the kids one day.  “If stories were all hearts, butterflies, and puppies, no one would read them.   They’d be boring.”

It sounded harsh when I said it out loud, but it’s true.

To have a good story, something bad has to happen.  It’s called conflict.  Without it, we’re just not that interested.

My seven year old son reminded me of that this afternoon when he lovingly presented me with his artwork.
I give you Exhibit A:

I stared at it for a while, noting the distance between the arrow and my head, the children’s expressions, and the suspicious “ball”.  (I also love that he depicted me as blissfully ignorant!) I stared some more, wondering what was going on.  I was intrigued by the story this picture told.  I finally laughed out loud.  Because, really, how interesting would it be without those three things that pulled me in?

So, thanks for the reminder, Dan.  You understand what all great storytellers know:  Skip the hearts, butterflies and puppies and keep it interesting.

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6 thoughts on “What makes a good story?

  1. Haha!! Your son certainly grasped the concept. Too funny. I love your comment about being blissfully ignorant…I’ve got grown kids who would depict me in exactly that light! Love your blog. I’ll be back!

  2. I came over from Cathy’s blog and I just have to say that your seven year old is quite the artist. I can’t believe he got those expressions on the children’s faces. He’s very talented.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Sally! The children’s expressions were my favorite part. I’ll pass your comments along to him – he’ll be so pleased!

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