“'A story … has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you.'
The question of what makes a great story has occupied the minds of some of our most celebrated storytellers. Kurt Vonnegut had his eight tips and Barnaby Conrad his six, Ken Burns devised a formula, and John Steinbeck defied the very notion of such formulas. A good story, nonetheless, is hardly a relative notion: To use one of pop culture’s most tired yet most expressive similes, it’s like pornography — you know it when you read it. But what, then, makes a story great?'