Tuesday, July 14, 2015

3 Things I Love in a Good Story

Heidi Peterson has started a fun new series on her writing blog, Sharing the Journey.  It's called "3 Things I Love in a Good Story," and I am honored to be her very first guest contributor to the series!  If you want to know 3 things I find absolutely essential in order to consider a story "good," then go here and read all about them :-)

Heidi is also looking for more guest contributors, so whether you are a writer or a reader, if you love a good story, follow the instructions at the end of that post on how to let her know you'd like to share your own list of 3 things.


  1. I loved that bit about the accents :)

    Oh, Hamlette--this is a totally different topic, but I'm kind of stuck on my novel right now. You see, it's a WWII novel and so, while most of the action is non-military, I do need to include a couple of battle scenes. Specifically, the next chapter needs to be an air battle between some U.S. bombers and German fighter planes--and I'M SCARED TO DEATH BECAUSE I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO DESCRIBE THAT.

    No, it's not quite that bad, but I really am kind of stuck because I've basically watched zero war movies and read zero war novels. So, what I'm wondering is, do you have any suggestions on particular films or books that would be helpful?

    Also, would you possibly be willing to critique my battle scene drafts when I get them written? If you don't have time, I totally understand. (I would actually love to have you critique my whole novel, but again, if you don't have time, that's perfectly okay.)


    1. How exciting! I would say try to find and read Sarah Sundin's "Wings of Glory" trilogy, because she has some good descriptions of US airmen in combat.

      Are you writing about the ETO or PTO, btw? Here are a few movies that can help:

      12 O'Clock High
      Memphis Belle
      The Flying Tigers
      The Fighting Lady (mostly real WWII footage)
      The Flying Leathernecks
      Catch-22 (cleaner than the book by a long shot, but not as funny)
      Wing and a Prayer

      Those are the ones I've seen and can think of right now. As for nonfiction books, check out the library's wwii section and see what you can find!

      Finally, I have no idea if I will have time to critique your battle scenes sometime in the future -- ask me when you've got them done, and I'll do it if I'm able! :-) Right now I'm pretty swamped, but that should ease off in a few weeks.

    2. Thanks so much, Hamlette! I'll definitely check those out!
      I'm writing about the ETO--the pilots are based in England and are flying bombing missions over France, and that's where this next scene needs to take place.
      That's fine--I totally understand about the time constraints :) I'll tell you when I have them finished, and then if you have time, I can email them to you.

    3. I just checked some of these out online--Memphis Belle and 12 O'clock High look especially helpful, because they're both about the USAAF in the ETO. I'm also going to try "Wings of Glory," like you said--it's not at our library but I should be able to find it somewhere.
      Thanks so much!!

    4. You're welcome! BTW, "Wings of Glory" is the name of the series -- the individual books are "A Distant Melody," "A Memory Between Us," and "With Every Letter." They're Christian fiction, and quite enjoyable.

  2. If I sat down to seriously considering all the things I love about a story, my list would probably go beyond three things. But at the heart of every story (for me) are good characters. I feel like without good characters (even flawed "good" character), there is no hope. With them, then I can overlook at lot of other stuff. :)

    1. Well, yes, I've got oodles of things, but the rules of the series are three, so three is what I listed. Good characters are another must for me. I love an anti-hero, but he has to join the good guys and help them.


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