In my estimation, there are so few skillfully told stories that can keep you absolutely gripped to the book page, TV, or big screen.
When I find such a story, I want to tell the world.
Last week I become totally immersed in a captivating story.
I have never read the classic novel, “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald or seen the movie made in the 70’s with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. Last week, when I plopped down in my cushy seat inside the darkened movie theater with my popcorn, all I could do was grouse about how long this movie was going to be! 2 hours and 22 minutes!
I just knew I was going to be looking at my watch all the way through, and my rear was going to be sore, and….
I did not glance at my watch even one time.
Once the previews were finished, and the movie began, I was absolutely entranced.
It was a visual masterpiece to behold and the story of J. Gatsby kept me glued to my seat.
The story held me spellbound from the start and never let go.
I pondered over the story later that day and the next, and came up with a short list of what I felt were some essentials to a great story:
1) An element of mystery
4) A not necessarily happy ending
From the start, this Gatsby fellow was a mystery.
We were shown his life being a certain way, but we were kept wondering who he really was, from the time we first heard his name. And of course, he was not who we thought he was. We didn’t find out the truth until much later in the movie. This keeps us constantly guessing and watching to learn more.
Many symbols were used throughout, like little bread crumb clues that something more was about to happen. Different colors were sprinkled throughout the story, to lead us to think a certain way—when circumstances actually took quite a dramatic turn.
Stories with a touch of romance are always fun.
Mystery and romance bundled together?
Some of the best stories don’t have happy endings.
I’m not going to give it away, but a sad ending will sometimes leave more of an impression than a happy one.
Suffice it to say that “The Great Gatsby” is no Disney movie.
Do you have some favorite movies that are great “stories?” Tell us about them and what makes them worth watching.
Penelope Silvers is founder of PhilosBooks.com,
where “Independent Authors are introduced to the World!”
She is a freelance writer, publisher, and radio host of
Penelope’s Book Chat on Blog Talk Radio.