When talking about a story's unity, I mean the psychological satisfaction derived by both presenter and the audience from the completeness and internal consistency of the speech. A story is whole when all the important questions are answered, all the information is in its rightful place, and any implications of the story are clear. It's the gestalt effect in action. When answering the question of what makes a story whole, you actually need to get back to the question, “What's story?”
According to John Truby, the author of The Anatomy of Story, whom I referred to in Chapter 3:
All stories are a form of communication that expresses the dramatic code. The dramatic code, embedded deep in the human psyche, is an artistic description of how a person can grow or evolve.
So what's a dramatic code? In short, dramatic code consists of a character with a desire. While pursuing his or her desire, the character encounters obstacles, and while trying to overcome the obstacles, he or she changes irreversibly. This is the one part of the equation which I pretty much covered in the previous chapter. It is known in Russian playwriting school as fabula.
Next, there's a second part known as syuzhet; it's the dramatic arc or dramatic structure, the emotional trajectory that the story follows. The closest plain English word to syuzhet is “plot” (although it is arguably very ambiguous by itself). So, what makes a good syuzhet? The best and the oldest answer to this question ...