However, even if a story does tread along similar lines as other stories, it can still make a name for itself. Critics will point out that Star Wars offered nothing new but instead was a tribute to many ideas such as Akira Kurosawa. Japanese Role-Playing Games have a stigma of being the same story again and again, but occasionally a game will have a great fanbase because the story was well done. I told someone I downloaded one game even though I haven't had time to play it because critics said the dialogue was well-done and the world is very fleshed out.
Some people like stories that make fun of tropes. However, I feel like those only work for a short period of time. I don't know, but I hope Shining's method of examining ideas rather than just making fun of them will be more charming, even if only to a few people.
Now if only one person in the world thinks a story is great, does that make it great? I would like to think so. When I think about it, what makes a story great is how it connects to the audience. In the case of a book, this is even more so as the reader is essentially the director. He must imagine the scenes and cast the characters. I wrote one story and imagined how the character would speak. I gave the story to someone else to read and was given a completely different interpretation, but they still loved the story. As an author, I can give guidance like a scriptwriter, but it's the director who makes the picture. If the reader can turn a script into something fantastic in his head, then I did my job well.
J. D. Nyle