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Digger Cartwright Interview 2013: Question 10

Posted by Digger Cartwright
Digger Cartwright
Robert “Digger” Cartwright is the author of several mystery stories, teleplays, and novels including The Versa...
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on Tuesday, 19 February 2013
in Digger Cartwright

What do you think makes a good story?

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I think the components of a good story are interesting characters and a complex plot. I like the story that keeps me engrossed in what’s going on and that keeps me thinking about the story and the characters. If there are twists and turns, all the better. Lots of details? Great. If there are secrets for the characters, that’s good too; it keeps the mind working trying to figure out what the characters are all about. And I think the good story has a unique storyline as opposed to one that has been used over and over again in other books. It’s ok if it’s a storyline that is not really original but it needs to have a unique spin on it. Let me explain what I mean by that. The classic love triangle has been done so many times that it really takes a special spin to make the story good and unique. Murder mysteries are pretty basic. Someone gets killed. There’s a list of suspects, and one of them did it. How the story presents the characters and events is really what’s important.

Readers will get to see a lot of what I think makes a good story in my own books. They usually have a pretty complicated plot. There’s going to be a lot of twists and turns, and they’ll keep you guessing until the very end. There’s going to be a lot detail. I try to paint the picture of each scene for the readers, and I do that by going into some great detail. There’s going to be a lot of character development. Strong characters with real depth make all the difference; it makes the readers feel like the characters are real people, like they can connect with them on some level. I draw sharp contrasts between my books and my writing style and my storytelling and that of other authors who don’t really go into much detail and who have pretty boring and static characters and who tell very simplistic stories.

My books aren’t for the faint at heart. You’ve got to focus and really pay attention. Some people say my books are hard to read, and I suppose there may be some truth to that when you go from reading books written at a fifth grade reading level to one that is much more advanced or at a college level. It’s not like reading Shakespeare or the classics when you read one of my books, but it is quite different from reading some of the mainstream writers of today.  

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