What makes a good story?

What makes a good story? As much as this question has been answered again and again in my life, I can never get an answer I understand. Literature and story-telling is so complex and has so many levels to it, it’s so hard to fully grasp on what makes a good story. Though, I can tell it’s different for every person, and I feel that it comes down to some simple points.

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The way it’s told and the impact it leaves are two big parts of what makes a good story. I feel they are very important to every and any story. The way it’s said in the time it is being told can make a difference on the impact. Reading a story monotone or putting no emotion to the characters makes the story less exciting (and therefore, less of a good story). In the end, from what I could tell, the impact it leaves makes the story more memorable. The stories that leave the biggest impact on me are the ones I personally remember the longest. No author or speaker wants people to leave thinking that they wasted their time reading/listening the story.

A show I watched is “When they see us”, which I did through Netflix. I loved this show, no matter how hard it was to watch and how many tears I shed. It was incredible and not just cinematically. It gripped my attention from the beginning to the very last second. The way the show stirred up so much emotion within me from their extremely talented actors was something that doesn’t happen very often. I was 100% entrapped by this show.

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Look at them- my heart still aches just seeing this photo

I saw a lot of things that related to the 80’s theme in “When they see us”. I mean, this is set in 1989 for most of the show and is constantly related back to this year. The event that took place that the entire show is centered around happened April of that year. Everything down to the clothes people wore to the places they visited. Everything in this movie was on point and was incredibly done.

For the two videos we watched, they were also good at telling their own stories. With the video of the man who was drawing the graph by telling a story, I was in a fit of giggles. As a math major myself, I knew what those graphs were- f(x) = sinx and f(x) = cosx- and hearing him make it into a joke/story was really funny for me. My suite-mate however, who watched it with me, didn’t really like the video because she didn’t fully understand what was going on, and the jokes he made “weren’t funny.” I think that’s a perfect example of what’s an important part to story telling: I’ve noticed through this that it is the target audience. This story was funny to me because I understood what he was saying, but my suite-mate who didn’t understand thought they weren’t funny.

The second video was enticing to both of us, though not knowing the point of the video until the end made it super confusing for me. I loved seeing the transitions between everything and how they made one sentence into many. I also loved seeing the old websites, I could compare in my head how they looked before and now. I just wish I understood the point of the video more clearly at the beginning instead of the end.

This activity got me to experience more things, especially with the Netflix show that I picked. Trying to write this took longer than expected, but because “When they see us” hit me in the deepest parts of my emotions. It took me so long to truly comprehend what I watched, especially considering that I watched this show starting at around 10 pm and until around 3 am. I literally could not stop feeling the impact of the show, even while I’m writing this. As a side note, I highly recommend if you’re reading this and haven’t watched “When they see us” to watch it as soon as you can. It’s a beautifully made show.

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and experiencing the aftermath of my mental collapse<3

PS. I am okay, I swear haha- I haven’t watched something so good in a really long time! And if you watch or watched the show, you’ll see why I am so affected by the the show!

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