- Strong characters. Strong in terms that we can picture them readily and identify with them. Some strong characters can be weak but we need to see why they are weak and be able to see where the character comes from.
- A promising opening. We have got to want to read more so the opening lines have to entice us into reading more.
- A satisfying ending. It has to be appropriate for the story and doesn't necessarily need to be a happy one. Your reader must feel the story couldn't have ended any other way.
- A world your readers can visualise. It might be this world, it might be one set in the future, it might be a fantasy epic world but we should be able to picture it and accept the way it works, because it has been set out propertly. Where magic is involved, there needs to be a clear depiction of how and when magic can be used, if anyone is restricted (and if so why) in their use of it and those situations were magic mustn't be used.
This is one of those perennial themes where there is always something to say on it but it does no harm to remind ourselves of what should be in every story we write.
I'm Allison Symes and I write novels, short stories as well as some scripts and poems. I love setting my work in my magical world, the Fairy Kingdom, and my favourite character is Eileen, who believes hypocrisy is something that happens to other people without caring that statement is hypocritical in itself! Eileen is huge fun to write for and about.