What makes a story “good”? When my editor evaluated my book manuscript, he looked for specific things in my stories:
Is the basic premise or theme of each story interesting, unique, and believable? Is the language level (e.g., word choice, sentence structure) appropriate for the genre and consistent within each story?
Is point of view (first person, third person, or omniscient) consistent within each story? Are shifts in point of view within a story necessary and simple to follow? Is point of view used appropriately to convey the thoughts or emotions of a character?
Does each story contain a planned series of carefully selected interrelated incidents? Do the stories include situations that heighten the conflict? Does each story build to a climactic moment or epiphany? Does each story have a clear conclusion or satisfactory ending that is appropriate to the genre?
Do the settings enhance the stories? Are the settings described appropriately without slowing the pace?
Does the author provide a clear visual image of the characters? Are the characters presented with realistic challenges and life situations? Are the characters believable and introduced for a clear purpose?
Does the dialogue reveal the character’s background or identifying traits? Is there a good balance of dialogue and action in each story? Does the dialogue sound authentic?
Is the manuscript free of grammatical, punctuation, or spelling errors?
A novice writer must learn how to create a good story. Experienced writers can be wonderful teachers! I am indebted to many friends who have helped me along the way.