Recently Kristan found this fantastic video, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. It features Andrew Stanton and his talk "The Clues to a Great Story." Andrew is a writer for Pixar (Finding Nemo, Wall-E, Toy Story, Monsters, Inc.).
Okay, it's lengthy, but if you have some time, it's also entertaining and witty...just exactly like his films. But the thing that really struck me about his talk was how he strives to include one basic element in his stories--WONDER. That moment where the audience feels WOW and you're totally willing to go anywhere it takes you.
What was the last story that made you feel WOW? Sometimes I zoom through books because my TBR pile stares at me, and, man, there are just so many good stories out there. I'm like on feeding frenzy and gorging on words. But then I read something that stands out, makes me go WOW I wish I wrote like that. Or WOW I wish I thought of that. Or WOW that author's imagination is CA-RA-ZAY. (Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor was the last read that elicited this response.)
SO, I'll show you mine...