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What Makes a Good Story with World of Ink December '10 Tour Guest Author J.D. Holiday

I talked with J.D. Holiday about her latest book, “The Great Snowball Escapade” and what she considered the basic ingredients of a good story. We all know the things that keep you reading until the last page of course, but what are those things and are they the same things in every book? You might say yes and you might not. So, here are the 7 things J.D. Holiday said makes a great story.

Plot and Conflict

I feel the ingredients for a story has to start with a plot with a conflict. The characters need a struggle or obstacles to get over or solve which takes them forward, advancing the story
and making the characters grow.

Characterization/Believable Characters

Characterization is key for continuity of your characters. The story must have believable characters. You should know their names, their age, where they are from, where they want to go and more.

A Strong Main Character or Characters

The main character or characters, through you, the author, has to have some idea of what they want or know what they don’t want to happen to them.


Of course, the story must have a theme. What the basic story in about and what the characters learn. However, this is not usually stated and must come through the characters working out the conflicts they face.

Meaningful Dialog

A story needs to have meaningful dialog that moves the story along. Dialog should show the
personality of each character, what they are feeling, thinking and doing as it helps develop the plot.


Pacing will be key to staying on track and advance the story.


There must be climax, the end. The characters working out their problems and issues in the conclusion.

Thank you so much J.D. for sharing this great list.

For those of you who would like to follow J.D. Holiday’s World of Ink Tour through all of December her next stop is at The Writing Mama December 3rd. Be sure to stop by
and leave a comment at

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Comment by VS Grenier on December 3, 2010 at 8:52am
Thanks everyone for stopping by. It was great having J.D. Holiday here to share some of her insight.
Comment by Beverly Stowe McClure on December 2, 2010 at 8:08pm
Very good points. Worth remembering. Thanks.
Comment by Deb Hockenberry on December 2, 2010 at 2:49pm
Thanks for a great interview, Virginia. Also, thanks for the great advice, J.D.!
Deb :-)
Comment by Cheryl C. Malandrinos on December 2, 2010 at 12:00pm
Excellent article. The cover of your book is adorable. Best of luck.

Comment by VS Grenier on December 2, 2010 at 8:04am
Thanks Fran for stopping by. We're having loads of fun doing this tour.
Comment by Fran Lewis on December 2, 2010 at 12:57am
Great interview and really outstanding discussion of what goes into creating a great story. Great book tour. fran


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