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EVERYONE: What do you seek when reading a short-story?

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Hello there! This is part of my training as a writer. I would like to know what you (=the audience) try to find when reading a story. Why do you read it in first place?

1) Intriguing title?
2) Humor?
3) Plot-twists?
4) To forget about life and do something different?
5) To feel better?
6) Learn about some values?

And what do you think can make a great story... great? The twists? The plot? The characters?

P-L-E-A-S-E comment. I am very interested in finding out.

Personally, what I seek is an exciting adventure, which can relax me and make me laugh. And my favourite stories where the ones with great climax and action sequences and messages about life... 'Got a bad taste for stories huh?
 
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Do you mean why I read stories at all, or why I choose to read a specific story rather than another, i.e., what it is that captures my attention when I look for something to read? I'll try to give short answers to both questions. Basically, a good story to me is one that stays with me even after I have finished reading it. Often, this is due to something that captures my imagination, and makes me think. This may be that the story presents me with some sort of dilemma, or an observation, or a point of view that I hadn't thought of before. Maybe it makes me realise something about myself, the world or the society. Maybe it presents a different take on an observation that I have made, or it makes me realise that something I haven't given much thought or has accepted as part of life could actually be different. It may also be that I somehow identify with the characters, and that they come to life. For this to happen, they must be interesting, that is, their problems, conflicts and lives must be relatable, and I have to care about them. They also have to be trustworthy, that is, the story has to be believable in some sense. I read stories for a number of reasons: to spend time, to get excited, to get my fantasy going, to get inspiration for my own stories etc. Regarding how I choose which stories to read, it's often based on having read previous work by the same author or reading about the book/story somewhere else. I find titles difficult to trust to judge the quality of a story. There are really great stories with non-exciting titles, and there are stories that are rather bad but that may have intriguing titles. When it comes to fanfiction, e.g., on this site, if I don't know the author I often browse stories and read the first sentences, and look whethert the story seems to be completed or not, and if it is and the first sentences seem interesting, I read the story. A story may be great in many different ways, and I think all the suggestions you give may contribute to the greatness (or lack of greatness) of a story.
 
The #1 Deerling Fan!
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I don't mind short stories. I like them with interesting takes on certain concepts, good, clear prose with a touch of purple prose but not enough to make it pretentious, etc. One Rurouni Kenshin one shot I read was beautiful.
 
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What I like to read in a story? I like many different things, from humor to plot twists to keeping my attention.

First and foremost is that the story catches my attention. I tend to give a story my attention for the first few chapters. If you cannot keep my reading past the first four chapters I will put the book down and most often not finish reading the story. To keep my attention I like to see and read humor, plot twists and to forget about life. I want to have the story make me envision the world or the story that I am reading. The story does not have to have any values or lesions or even make me feel better. I read to escape reality.
 
Just Marcat
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I like a short story that's clear and concise. Get to the point. Don't drag things along, just tell me a good, interesting story. Stick to good ol' Chekhov's loaded rifle: if it ain't immediately relevant to the story, don't tell me about it.

Best thing I can come up with off the top of my head.
 
I'm just Saiyan...
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The first thing I look for is an identifiable point. Stories that start slow only to do a 180 in the end suck and aren't worth drudging through the first few chapters. As for the identifiable point, it should be something that relates to the reader. Something realistic that can be explained, not something that falls back on "it's magic, so roll with it" mentality. Lastly, I look for realistic characters that don't need lables such as "hero" or "villain". Morality is a grey line and deeper characters are molded from this aspect.

All in all, the reader should be learning about who the writer is, not who they are pretending to be. This doesn't just apply to short stories, though admittedly the short stories are easier to sift through the nonsense and find the point within.
 
deadpan snarker
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If a short story can manage to make me attached to the characters, I'm impressed.
 
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