What is a Good Story?

This blog post is from an intern, and represents their unedited thoughts. We'd love to know what you make of it.

Or, how good stories can change the world...

Traditionally good stories involve bad people receiving justice and/or redemption, bad people learn to be good and good people continue to be the socially heralded heroes. ‘Good’ stories are boring. That is of course running on the assumption that a good story is written with a lineage of a clear distinction between the general consensus of right and wrong.

If, however, you are judging a story on the personal impact it demands then clearly the definition of a ‘good story’ is a far more interesting and subjective debate. Stories change the world all the time; they don’t have to be good. A child learns to read, the literature is not complex or definitive of the current philosophical course of the decade. It is probably about a cat and a parrot, and Lord knows we can only hope it is a pop-up book!

The story that changed my world is Slave Girl by Jackie French. The academic application of historical fact into a fictional child’s story changed the way I view and write literature, so after reading Slave Girl for the ninth time my world was definitely changed. Good stories provoke the emotional responses which our modern world has suppressed for the sake of productivity.

We save our raw feeling for the half hour in bed with a book before bed on a Tuesday evening, and sometimes, that is ok. I have observed that I stop reading for pleasure during the strenuous periods of my life.

This, I have concluded, is because I am not strong enough to face the turmoil that a good story can create, when everything else seems to be just as chaotic. Good stories provide no distinction of right and wrong, good stories educate, disintegrate and liberate our world.

And this is a good thing...


One of Marylebone House's books does this deconstruction, this disintegration and liberation, is Daniel Taylor's 'Death Comes for the Deconstructionist'.

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