“A successful story is a narrative that the reader reads all the way through to the end and enjoys.” -- Bruce Holland Rogers in Less Than the Rules Demand: Getting By On Attitude as posted on Flash Fiction Online.Gosh, that sounds easy. Now if I can only figure out what kind of story the reader enjoys enough to make it all the way through, I'll be a great success. I've read a number of published stories that I didn't enjoy. In some cases, I didn't make it to the end. Does this mean the story wasn't a success? No. It just wasn't my kind of tale, or in the case of my rejections, one that didn't appeal to a particular editor.
A story I'm working on is an interesting example of this – at least to me. I submitted it for review and was surprised by the responses. Half the group loved the analogy I used. The other half either disliked it, or didn't get it. I guess the story was half a success. Or maybe it was a half-assed success. Regardless, I received some excellent suggestions that should help improve the story when I begin the next group of rewrites in another attempt to create a successful story.