- Strong characterisation. I've got to able to root for the characters, where appropriate. All must have really good motives for acting the way they are. Each character has to have depth and I particularly want the villain to test the hero out well.
- A good pace. I like a fast, snappy read generally but the pace has got to be appropriate to the tale.
- Wanting to read the story again. Or being able to recall significant bits of it years later without having the tale to hand.
- Memorable dialogue. Again I like dialogue to be snappy (goes well with my preferred story pacing too!). But again it has to be appropriate for the character and I need to be able to tell who is saying what to whom. (I like the he said/she said taglines but I should be able to guess who is talking).
- A good twist or punchy ending. To wrap the story up well, you can't beat this kind of ending.
I look for the following in a story, regardless of genre:-
I'm Allison Symes and write fairytales with bite, especially novels and short stories.