There are stories you want to read over and over again and then there are stories you read once, enjoy for a moment, and then forget about. Do you know what makes the difference for your readers?
For me, the characters make all the difference. Whether it’s a comedy, a romance, a fantasy, or an adventure, the drama the characters experience is what captivates me time and again. I want to feel what they feel, I want to care about what happens to them, I want to identify with their struggles. A good mystery, an exciting turn, a curious event—they all make for page-turning motivation; the first time around. If it’s good enough, I may read the story a second time to see even better how the writer brought it about. But, for that lasting appeal, that time and again devotion, it’s the people who matter.
If you want your stories to have long-term value, you can’t be afraid to reveal your own humanity through your characters. Bear your heart, show your weaknesses, dramatize your own knowledge of what it means to be human. After all, we all are. That’s what we hold most in common. If you can capture that for your readers, you can tell a story that will really last.