Stories and Friends This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

February 10, 2010
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I recently completed a novel that, despite what others say about it, I did not find very much to my liking. I am not writing this to criticize that book; I know it carries value to other people, just not me. However, after finishing this book, I began to wonder about what really makes a story a good one. Is it symbolism, figurative language, or a vast and educated vocabulary? I decided that the answer is yes and no. While all of those can certainly add to a story and help it reach its full potential, they alone are not enough. The plot is really the heart of the story, and whether it is written well or not, a good plot should always be recognizable. One doesn’t have to paint a veneer of fluid language for a plot to be noteworthy. At the end of the day, so to speak, the bad stories have nowhere to hide. They stare at us blatantly, calling us fools for believing for one tantalizing instant that they contained any substance within them at all.
I later realized that people are similar to this. We may be so impressed or under impressed by how we judge someone that we fail to recognize who the person truly is. If someone is more athletic, good-looking, or popular we may feel more inclined to hang around that person. These may be perfectly amiable and generous people, but we would be friends with them for all the wrong reasons. We would like them for what they are, instead of who they are. Good people are good people, regardless of what the status quo might label them as. All people are different; some are pretty, some are popular, some are intelligent, some are funny, some are serious, and there are even more possibilities than I could ever hope to list on this sheet of paper. Just as with the stories, at the end of the day we can hopefully see people for who they truly are. It does not matter what someone appears to be on the outside. Their looks, social status, and other superficial matters should all pale in comparison to who they truly are.

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