Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Characters vs. World

I'm curious. What element in a novel is most important to you as a reader?

Do you read primarily in one or two genres and anything in that field interests you?

Do you need vivd, life-like characters?

Do you crave heart-pounding, can't-put-the-book-down-suspense?

Do you love imaginitive world-building?

Do you have to have a satisfying romance?

Does humor float your boat?

Do you seek authentic, interesting voices, regardless of plot or genre?

For me, I need, first and foremost, an authentic, interesting voice but that alone isn't enough. I crave suspense, world-building, and vivid characters too with dashes of humor. Also, the book must be well-written. As a writer and former English teacher, I can't help but read with an imaginary red pen. The writing has to be extraordinary enough to make me forget that pen even exists.

The authors that consistently deliver this for me are J.K. Rowling, Tolkien, J.D. Robb, Dean Koontz, Stephen King new authors Melissa Marr and Rachel Vincent, and some of Linda Howard and Janet Evanovitch's works.

So tell me, what do you have to have in a book and what authors do it for you?


  1. I don't read anything that doesn't make me want to read "just one more chapter". If an author can't do that (either with suspense, humor, or really great characters), I'll just put the book down and move on to the next.

    The reason I want to read your Alexa book - and what keeps me coming back to this blog - is that you are consistently entertaining.

    Alexa has such a unique voice (and she makes me both laugh and say, Kick Some Evil A**, Girl!) and so there's humor, definite suspense, and enough intrigue to make me want to read "just one more chapter".

  2. Thank you - that's a huge compliment! =)

    I've read books that took me three weeks to finish because I kept putting them down and reading other books in between or even (gasp!) cleaning my shower.

    Not a good commentary on that author.

    I love books that make me dare to stay up past midnight when I know I have to get up at 6.

  3. I started to answer this in comment format, but it ended up being way too long. So, I replied to this in a blog of my own. Check it out. =)

  4. On my way to do just that.

    WonderMan. =)

  5. *nods* I'm with you Mayberry.

    If I can put the book down and walk away there's little chance I'll pick it back up.

    It's the ones I have to keep reading that I love.

    I want a world/characters where I ask "I wonder what so-and-so did before this story?" or after, or during when they weren't in the scene. :D That's the way my crazy brain works.

    Lots of humor too, or good emotions whatever they are. If it makes my heart twist I'm there.

  6. KB, in this post I said that I needed writing that could make me forget my imaginary red pen and lately, most of what you send does exactly that. I read entire chapters, get to the end, and realize I've been so captivated, I forgot to write anything down.

    In the interest of giving good feedback, I go back through and KEEP myself from getting too caught up in the flow to miss anything.

    I can't give you a better compliment than that until the book is on the shelf and I buy it and devour it in one satisfying gulp.

  7. *blushes* Thanks!

    I've improved ... a lot. (which I suppose is the mark of an intelligent writer, no?)

    I honestly do much the same with yours. I try to read it through a few times, each time looking for different things. The first is always just for the flow and I'm getting so caught up in it. (*grins* More, darn it!)

    My subconscious mind has been working on the White Rose Knights Chronicles with a lot of these things in mind. *grins* My goal is to get it up to the same level L.C. is at. I think it really can be done, it's just going to take a lot of work

  8. Anything can be done when your commitment is as strong as your passion.

  9. I'm reminded the other mark of a good book is one I'll read over and over again.

    Some of my favorite authors who write so well: Simon Green, Yasmine Galenorn, J.R. Ward, Dennis McKiernan, & R.A. Salvatore

  10. Oooh, that's an excellent point. I read books and then quickly separate into the Good Will pile and the Keep For Life pile. The Good Will pile is always bigger but the gems in the Keep For Life pile are worth it.

  11. BTW, I put a link up with your personal journal and Malystryx's blog on my sidebar.

    I only used two of your known alias's of course. One doesn't want to lose one's air of mystery.


People who comment are made of awesomesauce with a side of WIN!

Harry Potter Trailer & More!

The final trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 has been released, and I'm not going to lie. I get choked up every ti...