Explosions! No. Here’s what makes a good story

What makes a good story? It doesn’t matter who you ask, you will always get a different answer to that question every single time. In the below video we take a look at what D4Darious thinks is a good story and we have to agree with him!

Our resident screenwriting tutor, Adrian Mead knows what makes a good story too. Take a look at his screenwriting masterclass to see how a pro writes a script.

Conflict

Still the top spot for a reason! It gets your attention, it’s entertaining and just like how real life is full of challenges and obstacles and setbacks, your story should be too.
You need to find out what your character is made of. Challenge yourself to see what your characters are like under pressure and we’ll see their true colours shine through. For better or worse.

Ever heard the phrase “write about what you know”? Well, you should do that and call upon your memories to inform your story. The hard times, the good times, that time you got picked on or dumped (hopefully not both at the same time). Revisit those memories and figure out how they changed you as a person. Without these challenges we don’t really get to find out what we’re made of and it’s the same for your characters.

Think about your friends. Y’know, the people who stick around when things aren’t too well for you. They’ll have your back through the hard times, because they are the good guys. Sometimes they are the bad guys, but you get the point. Think about why they do that and why some don’t.

Stakes!

Not those kind of steaks, although that might help you write a good story too. Clearly communicate what is at stake. Conflict is great but if there is nothing at stake when you are trying to resolve your conflict then, what’s the point? Why should we care?

When the stakes are high there is more intrigue, more tension and more suspense. The stakes don’t always have to be high though, sometimes the stakes can be small – think about the story from most sitcoms.

Sympathetic Characters

Should we care about your main characters? Of course we should. If we’re investing a couple of hours into watching your film then we kind of want to care. If we don’t like them or intrigued by them or want them to succeed, then we’re not going to really enjoy your film.

Who do you hang around with? People that you enjoy spending time with. Why should we want to spend some time with your characters? Because we will hopefully enjoy spending time with them. Your characters can be bad people, they can be unlikable but they still have to have intrigue to keep us watching.

Transformation

What are the goals of your character? You’re creating a story that we are following along with so by the end of the film, through success or failure, something must change. Does your character learn about love? Do they learn about letting people live their own lives? Do they save the world and realise the world is a horrible place?

Why is character change so important? Without it, your audience will find themselves wondering what was the point in going through all of that if nothing at all has changed? We’ve all seen those films. Don’t make one of those films.