Friday, April 22, 2016

3 Things I Love in a Good Story // Emma Nikki

from Emma Nikki

1. Emotional drama 

One of my favorite experiences as a reader (or watcher) of literature is delving into the emotions of a character- finding out what makes them tick, their insecurities, battles, and backstories. It adds beautifully to the conflict and tension. I find that when an author manipulates my emotions to the point where I want the character to give up- because it’s just so hard, and they’re completely broken- then the author has accomplished something. And when the character finally wins, it adds to the victory, redemption, or whatever they’ve been fighting for.

2. Tension filled plot 

I have grown up loving the stories which make your heart beat against your chest. When the suspense and action is immense in a story, I am happy and content. So books like The Chronicles of Narnia, The Door Within trilogy, or Lord of the Rings really grab my attention, because I know they won’t let me down for one moment. They have battles for their lives at every turn, they’re captured, they learn to sword fight, all of those amazing things! Cliffhangers are also something I look forward to in an action-packed story. 

I expect to be left at a cliffhanger after each scene, and I enjoy that (I tell people I don’t, but that’s definitely not true). If a story doesn’t have much action or suspense it will fall just below the line of boring or predictable for me.

3. Beautiful nasty villains 

I expect nasty villains when I read/watch a story, and there is a certain definition to nasty villain. In my own mind, it means that the villain has a clear purpose and reason for their plan. It also means that they have their own personalities, inner battles, and conflicts for their character. I expect to see several dimensions of the villain, not just one line of emotion- they have to have just as much work on them as the heroes of the story. An example- who does an amazing job of this- is Once Upon a Time. This show has excellent classic villains- such as the Wicked Witch of the West, the Evil Queen, Rumplestiltskin, Peter Pan, etc, etc- but with depth of character to each one. You never know what the villains will be like, and that’s what I love!

(Note from Heidi: Thanks so much for sharing, Emma!)

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And... would you like to share three of your favorite things in a guest post? You don’t have to be a writer to qualify! This series is by story lovers for story lovers.
For post specifics/guidelines you can see the initial post here, then send Heidi a quick email at ladyofanorien(at)gmail(dot)com. (Don’t be shy. I’d love to have you! :))


  1. *high-five for fellow Narnia fan*

    Great post, Emma! I especially agree with you about villains--yes, they should be evil, but they shouldn't just be a cardboard cutout of an Evil Person. They need actual depth.

    1. Yes! I'm glad you agree! Villains are definitely an important factor in stories. And I think not enough authors pay attention to it.

  2. I love all three of your points! :)


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