A story is about an interesting character who wants something badly and is having trouble getting it. Simple and to the point: (Character + Want) / Obstacles = Story. However, if you must also ensure that you maximize audience connection while delivering a satisfactory ending.
If you accomplish all that, you will have achieved the five essential elements of a good story well told.
1. The story is about somebody with whom we have some empathy.
2. This somebody wants something very badly.
3. This goal is difficult, but possible to do, get, or achieve.
4. The story accomplishes maximum emotional impact and audience connection.
5. And the story comes to a satisfactory ending, not necessarily a happy one.