I think an interesting narrative voice, lively dialogue and surprise all hold an important place in the art of storytelling.
Explosions and intrigue. There also has to be some kind of drama. Like the main character's girlfriend wants his best friend or something like that. Good drama equals good story.
Character, conflict, setting, item/place of interest
The most important ingredient is to find the 'basic idea' how to create a story. A feeling, a hero, an image or a message that you feel the need to talk about could be a perfect way to start with.
When writing fiction or screenplays, I think you need to start with well fleshed out characters and a good story. And some great stories start with a boy, a girl...
Characters the reader can relate too
Protagonist sees, chases, catches, loses prey for a brief period, resolves to win, catches again, enjoys the spoils of reward along with an important epiphany about a dog's life...and gets the beautiful bitch in the end.
Blog posts, especially ones like mine that are often historical in nature, are so different from "a story," which is fictional, that it's difficult to answer this question as you probably intended. However, for me, a good blog post is one that imparts information without seeming textbookish and leaves the reader feeling that he knows something personal about the designer or architect that he didn't know before. I also like for the reader to come away with idea about how to incorporate mid-century design into their own homes.
I think the obvious first ingredient is conflict. Our characters need to go somewhere or do something, have some driving desire that propels them forward or repels them backward as most humans are want to have. Beyond that, I feel it is anyone's guess or perception, as I could happily read standard, formulaic storytelling as well as zany, artistic, out-of-this-world mind trips that really toy with the style and form of literature.
Inspiration should be the first one! then comes a character and then plot... these make the skeleton of the story... the Mirch-masala you add further makes your story interesting. there has to be some connection to the real world- maybe some stereotypes, current hot topic, human-emotions, etc...
That's difficult to say. Of course, you have the main story, the main character, and the things that happen to him/her. Then you craft the rest of the story around that core. The dialogue is critical; it must sound authentic, which is difficult if you are writing about someone who is of the opposite sex. Action is important, and I prefer not to write books (or, in fact, read books) that have page after page of descriptions of settings or the way people are dressed, etc. It's important to "snag" the reader's interest right away, and talking about the architecture of the character's house is not the way to do it.
Let's discuss the basic ingredients of a "great" story, instead. They, in my opinion, are: Character, conflict, a goal and a message.
After my two year CCE in creative writing I was done with all that analysing how to write. The basic ingredients of a story; all that. In fact I now deliberately try not to follow a pattern. For me, if what Iíve created is original then it was worth it. I love the way the Beatles took apart the whole verse chorus verse model and tried to do something different. Iím not trying to be The Beatles but I am attempting to be experimental.
Conflict? Gay and Amish is an example. I can recall writing early poems in journals. I found one when I was eighteen at a gay friend's house, trying on drag. I never seemed to fit in anywhere, thank God! I wanted to surround myself with creative people which I do today. I'm friends with actors, artists, writers and poets. Many drag queens!