But both conversations are just beginning. The good/bad report is somewhat useful to you. It’s nice to know what overall impression certain individuals are getting from your story at this stage, but it’s not exactly news you can use. And it doesn’t mean very much. Because every reader has different unconscious priorities. Those qualities that ring the “good” bell for them may not be appreciated at all by someone else, and vice versa. If someone is nice enough to read your stuff and let you know what they think, see if you can’t push them a little further and figure out what they really meant by “good” or “sucky”. By my count, there are at least 20 different qualities they may have in mind, divided up into five categories. Yes, folks, it’s time for another list:
Amount of personality
Beginning, Middle and End
Set Up and Payoff
Something to Say
Reflects the Way the World Works
This week I’ll define the twenty parts and give some example of movies that succeed and/or failed to deliver on each.