What makes a story into a really good story?

What makes a story into a really good story?

Two stories in the media this past week have jumped out to me because they each have a feature that makes them a more powerful story than they might otherwise have been. So what makes a good story?

Firstly, we had the smashing - could he be more perfect? - David Beckham signing for a Paris football team with a lovely sounding name - Paris St Germain. Of course Becks signing for a new team and moving his family is always going to be of interest, but this story had an added dimension - he is going to give his salary to charity.  I think I am right in saying that this is a first in football. What a fantastic way to boost Brand Beckham and it works because he has first mover advantage.  Many of us are increasingly fed up at the huge salaries that footballers earn and some of the poor behaviour that is displayed on and off the pitch. Becks has risen right above this.  This story works so well because it is a 'first' and in sharp contrast with what we have come to expect of footballers.

The other story that struck me was the one about the body of Richard III being discovered under a car park in Leicester.  I wonder if this would have been of as much interest if the remains had been found under some magical abbey ruins in Windsor? I think not. Again, sharp contrast works here - the idea of someone Royal being found under a Leicester car park just makes the story all the more catchy. We will all remember the story for that reason.

I think both are great examples of how to turn a story into a really good story.