Your favorite story was written for one reader.
I just watched a movie. That was the tag at the end of the film. To be honest, the film was okay. I wasn't as in love with the on screen chemistry as I would need to be to believe in the film (or as much as critics apparently - I just googled it) Not the greatest but not the worst. It had several lovely moments that I really enjoyed, and was quite carefully put together, but for me overall it was just okay. Nothing about the film that was new, or exciting, or truly compelling. But that one line struck a chord.
I used to write a lot of poetry. Each one was for a single reader. Sometimes I knew it before I wrote it. Sometimes I was surprised by the entry. Sometimes it took me months to figure out why I wrote it. But it was all very specific.
A while ago, I switched to no longer writing poetry. I still dabble, and mostly leave it on facebook or on here. But my focus (and i use that term pretty loosely) has been writing scripts for film or tv. I'm at the beginning of this process, so I have no illusions that some great screenplay is coming down the pipeline. But I've done all this reading and research about how to craft a film, and blah blah blah. People teach you that about poetry too. However, my natural arrogance as a writer was always to throw out the 'you shoulds' and 'it has too's' and simply write the piece that's for that one person's ear. With my poetry it always works. Always.
I've never thought of applying it to my new work. I threw some of the bathwater out. I'm glad I watched that film. It brought back a really simple idea that I'd been dancing around.
Write what's in your heart. Work the rest out later.