"There was nothing in the story that really caught my attention," complained a student. "It seemed to be just words."
Well, yes, words are the basic building-blocks of any story. Words are what we work with in fiction: they're all we have.
But why do some stories seem to provide more while others remain "just words"? What elevates a story beyond the province of words? How do some stories make us forget that everything we experience in fiction is a world made of words? And why didn't that happen for this particular student in this particular work?
Those are the questions that keep me in the classroom.