My glib response would be to say "narrative." But it's got to have emotion, so maybe what I mean is it's "emotional narrative." It has to touch you, even if it's told in a completely documentary way. I also feel that a story has to show someone (the author or the characters) trying to get at the truth, whether it be a larger political, social, or cultural truth, or just a small truth like "this is what it feels like to get hit in the head by a paper airplane" or something like that. So, any story has got to have a connection to something larger than itself. Because if it doesn't have this larger connection, it doesn't touch me. And, what's the point then of the story if it doesn't touch the reader?
Source: The Short Review