Before we begin, I have a new review up here. http://libriamicimiei.blogspot.it/2016/06/review-giveaway-seducing-chef-by-janet.html#comment-form
On Becoming a Novelist is a book I picked up years ago and one I refer to many times. This time I'm talking about some things a good story needs and using this book as a jumping off point. The story needs to pull the reader into the world the writer has created. Even when writing contemporary fiction, the world the writer creates isn't the one we're living in. To do this means creating the world you're working with. My contemporary world has differences from yours. There are also similarities. Those are things to make the story seem right to the reader. Why? The writer brings his own unique experiences into his writing.
A good story raises questions in a reader's mind but it also answers them. Leaving a reader dangling is one way to lose them. But drowning them in details will also lose them as readers. Too many scenes that say the same thing can become annoying. Each and every scene must add to the story by developing the characters, pushing the story or plot line, thus giving the reader the information they need to answer the questions they might have. As well as too many similar scenes, too many characters can ruin a story. Having too many villains who all seem to be the major one can confuse the reader. Confusing the reader can destroy their interest in the story.
A good story is really a performance, akin to a play, but one where we use our mind's eye rather than our sight to envision.