Is Your Story Really A Story?

photo credit: Ayelet Keshet

photo credit: Ayelet Keshet

A lot of people want to write a book, but a lot of people don’t know where to start. What should the story be about? How long should the story be? How long should each chapter be? Does there have to be a villain?

This is for fiction writers of course. Non fiction writers suffer with different questions about their books.

As a fiction writer one of the main question you might ask yourself is if your story is really a story? Does it make sense? Did it end right? and so on.

Here are a list of elements that make a story and should help you decide how much of a story you have and if you’re on the right track.

What Makes A Story


Every story has some kind of conflict or problem that needs to be solved. In the Hunger Games, Katniss’ problem was surviving a game that fought to the death. The story, in fact, has a lot of conflicts through out but without conflict Katniss would have continued her days living with her sister and mother.

Be sure your story has some sort of problem or dilemma your protagonist has to solve or overcome. Give your readers a reason to keep turning the page.


You need to a solution by the time your book is finished. If it’s a series then the overall solution can be put off but each book in a series should have it’s own problem and it’s own solution or resolution. I say resolution because not every story has to have a happy ending but every story should have some sort of answer to what’s happened.

Did the hero fail or succeed? Did they reach their goals or die a horrible death?

The answer to these questions and similar ones are your solutions and they must be included in your story or the reader will feel ripped off.

Characters People Care About

A story needs to have characters that a reader can either relate to or sympathies with. You need to make your readers care about your characters’ problem enough to keep reading to see what happens next. Show how passionate your character is for solving their problem and what’s at stake for them.

Make your characters human.


There should be a part in your story that is the “big boom”. The climax is the part where everything is laid out on the table and it’s normally the peak of the story where a lot of the readers questions are answered and if the hero wins or loses.

Readers wait for the climax because without a climax the story would solve itself in a “oh, yeah. I never thought of doing it like this before’ kind of solution to their problems.

Show your readers how much your characters want their goal and how much they’re willing to sacrifice to get it. Put your readers on the edge of their seats as they read your words and then finally get some kind of resolution.

Signs You Don’t Have A Story

No Conflict

If your story has no problem then it’s no reason for a reader to keep reading. If there’s no problem then it’s just information.

Nothing At Stake

There should be something at stake for your characters to make them want to solve their problems. A lot of people have problems that they just ignore but some problems can’t be ignored.

Show that your characters problem can’t be ignored and explain why. This will show how much is at stake for your character and give your readers a reason to turn the page.

No Solution

What would be the point of reading a story if there isn’t a resolution to the story. It’ll just leave a character with a problem that isn’t solve. Don’t leave your audience hanging.

Did I miss anything? I find this topic very interesting and love to know what you think should be involved in a making a story. Good luck writers,



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About the Author

Shaquanda Dalton

Hello, my name is Shaquanda Dalton and welcome to! I'm from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graudated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in Creative Writing. I fell in love with writing at the age nine and love it till this day. :)