As I’ve been reading, I’ve been trying to analyze what I’ve been reading as well. What about this book keeps me wanting to read more? What helps books continue on into a series that people will want to finish? After thinking about some of the books I’ve read so far, I’ve come with a list of things that I believe, helps to make a book good. Please feel free to tell me your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂
I think that the character is what’s most important than anything else to me. What are they like at first and how do they change over time? What quirks do they have? How do they overcome their struggles? Without a good character, then the setting becomes a painting that just can’t move me. Sure, it might be beaiftul and well detailed, but if there’s nothing the character experiences then I don’t see much point in reading it. I’d rather just look at a painting.
One of my favorite types of characters right now, are strong independent female characters. Especially strong females characters in historical time periods that have more struggles than most female characters do today. I love the suspense it brings to the story. However, I’ve found that I like strong female characters with morals better than ones that don’t really have a whole lot. For example, in Sex Education, I don’t like that Maeve doesn’t try to work out her feelings first before decided to date someone. It’s just like watching Shameless all over again where I liked Fiona for being a strong older sibling and taking care her younger siblings. However, she kind of slowly became pretty fucked up too and I slowly became less emotionally invested.
A good character needs to be well rounded -at least to me. If nothing about them changes then I find for the most part that they story will be boring. It just not realistic to me, if everyone on earth was a flat character I’d still be a conservative Christian that looked down on my peers and would find veganism to be weird.
The story, I believe is what helps show well, character in someone’s character. If nothing in the story is causing the character to react then in my opinion either the story doesn’t fit or the character doesn’t fit. And I’m not saying that stories shouldn’t ever have those quiet moments either -but if your story is just your characters walking a lot, like Lord of the Rings, then marketing your story to me probably isn’t a good idea.
I find that I’ve enjoyed stories where there is struggle, but not an overbearing amount of struggle. For example, in one of the books I read, I liked that the main character was able to push through a lot of the pain she had to endure in her childhood. However, I didn’t like that it seemed like almost every creature was out to get her and did so until she eventually died. Now this is just my opinion, but I like to feel safsifed after reading a book rather than sad, lonely and depressed.
I think the setting is what really pulls me into the story. Personally, one of my favorite settings is science fiction mixed in with some kind of historical time period. Like Treasure Planet or The Lunar Chronicles. I think setting is one of the most important things to me because it allows us to choose what we want to experience. For example, if we had androids, what kind of life can we predict that we would live? What might it have been like to be a person thousands of years ago?
Please always take what I say with a grain of salt -because honestly that’s the beauty of writing.
What do you think makes a good book? Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments below!