Q:What is the most important thing in a written story?

So, what is the most important thing for you, when you are reading a book, a short story or a comic book…is it the plot? Grammar of the author? Sentence structure? or the Characters? Perhaps it is the art-style or heck, even font?

Does all of the above count?

If I had to pick one I’d say grammar. I dont no y but it annoys me when people don’t use proper grammer.

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bravo. claps. Personally, I do not mind bad grammar, being horrible at it myself, I technically do not see a problem as long as the rest is executed well…but the above mentioned should not happen. “Yo dawng, Y U no cume two me.” This is a sentence I wish to never find in any book and/or story.

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well, technically being literate would be number one, but specifically for a story; character identification/interaction. “Who are the characters, how do they act and how do they interact?”


This question is irrelevant. A good author will make every aspect of their book the most important. I can’t say what the single most important aspect of Harry Potter is, but I can tell you that it is a wonderful series of children’s books that still have value and gravity when read by an adult.


I do not ask you what an author would think is the most important about writing a story. I’m asking what you think is the most important for a successful story…so it is a relevant question to think about.

…I’m an author, and a reader as well. You’d think that the opinion of someone who can write a story and read a story and tell that it is successful would be quite important. Each other excels at one aspect of writing, and for their books that is the most important piece, but when writing you should try to make every single aspect of that writing the best it can be.

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Perhaps I should be more specific. I know that being an author means that you have to push your work to the full extend of your limitations. However, I ask you as a reader, what do you find the most important thing that is needless in a story. One thing that you could not imagine the text to exist without.

As a writer and a reader, I will always ALWAYS say almost all those aspects are important. If you have a good story but fail on dialogue, it doesn’t work. If you have good characters but the story is pretty much crud, it’s not the best.

In order to properly structure a written story you need good characters, good plot, good writing, and good grammar, at least in my opinion. And never over-do it on the exposition. That can kill the flow of the plot.

When I write, I like to start out with something exciting, like a hook, to get the reader’s attention. I don’t always do this (The Chronicles of Fa, my unfinished BIONICLE “novel” started out slower in the beginning), but it’s often a technique I prefer in order to catch reader’s attention.


Ah. I see. Well, I’d probably have to say that a coherent plot that doesn’t stretch off into the far reaches of nothingness is probably the most important aspect.

As for exposition, sometimes hints, being subtle or strait on in the story, can provide good speculation so the reader is more interested to see what is next.

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@Ultimate_TChalla Mhm.
@Chronicler Those are some wonderful answers. Truly, I can nothing more but agree with you.

Definitely. But don’t have a character say something like, “You’re acting the same way you did when your father died!” out of the blue for exposition purposes. Dialogue=/=subtly.


Yes. It has to be perfectly timed, like they did it in Star Wars:

Sure sure, it may be visual media, but Lawrence Kasdan knew when to properly set off a twist like this. It’s the high point of the movie. The main character is defeated and backed into the corner. The tension is high.

All of a sudden, the antagonist reveals the answer to the biggest question in the movie so far: who is Luke’s father?

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I often stumble upon such stories with really cheesy dialogue, that makes one cringe. They try too hard to feel like Star Wars or Romeo and Juliette but instead, it feels more like this:


Cheesy dialogue is always a huge problem with story-telling.

You want to make an awesome quote but it just comes off as cliche.

OH! This is also an important aspect of story-telling:

#Show, don’t tell.

I cannot explain this enough. Don’t just say, “Oh hey we’re in a city.” No, you need to describe that city so a reader can become immersed and feel the different locations.

And don’t try to make too many sub-plots. It gets distracting. I always recommend turning sub-plots into actual plot points. Your grandpa needs more money? Don’t push that too far off into the side. You can make an interesting story with a basic plot point like that.

There is nothing wrong with sub-plots, but they can distract a bit from the main plot. Try to use these on a limited basis.


One necessary part of maintaining a reader’s interest is keeping a steady pace and knowing when to include changes in it.

For example, if a book is more elaborate about it’s storytelling, such as To Kill A Mockingbird, it should give a more detailed explanation of the surroundings, but not to the point where it bores the reader. Or if a book is faster paced, adding down times is essential for exposition, dialogue, and character development.


Character development.

A story without good character development is usually downright boring for me to read/write.


as a Role Player, Character development is very important to me too. And believable characters twice as much.

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I’d say the most important thing in a story is the characters, with actual story be a very close second.
The most important thing is probably both of those things, now that I think about it.