I love books. I love that moment when you open one and sink into it you can escape from the world, into a story that’s way more interesting than yours will ever be.
When I am writing I want to write about things that I would be interested in reading. Sometimes though I get so caught up in trying to make the story unique that I don’t take the time to ask myself ‘would I read this?’
So today I want to take the time and write out some of the things that I love in stories, so that I can put them into my own stories. I’m not talking about characters or scenes in the books that I am enjoy, rather I am talking about things that span a multitude of books and series.
So here is my list. It is probably different than yours because each person is going to like slightly different things. I am not going to do these in the order of importance, rather it is in the order that I thought of them.
Interesting, Well-built Characters
This is something that is probably on most people’s lists of things that make a book good. Often one of the reason that I never got around to finishing a book is that the characters were not able to interest me (although I try to keep that from being the only reason). By the end of a book I love when I relate to, at least, one of the characters.
Third Person Narration
This one is not necessarily true for me, but over the years I have noticed that I tend to prefer third person narratives in books. When a book is in first person, I sometimes feel stifled by the amount of opinions I am forced to shuffle through as I read the book, and even then I don’t always know if another character is good or bad, or if it is just the narrator’s opinion. However, there are quite a few books that are in first person that I like.
I love conversation. It is through conversation that a character’s personality to light. Through the conversation you can learn so much about a character’s thought process without once going into that character’s head.
Fantasy is probably my favorite genre to read, and so this mainly applies to that one and also sci-fi, but in a way it can apply to any genre. I love when the main characters are up against seemingly impossible odds. I love when there seems to be no way for the hero to win and then somehow he or she does.
Because who doesn’t like when there is true love involved? I am not a big fan of romance as the main plot, but it does make a great side plot as long as it is handled correctly.
Complicated Character Relationships
They are interesting and, when done right, make the story more realistic. In real life people have complicated relationships too. Anyways, I like when characters have complicated relationships it makes it more interesting to read.
I mainly am not talking about the character giving up their life for the greater good, although that can sometimes be the case, but more that the characters are willing to give up almost anything to accomplish what needs to be done. Also if that is going to be done right for me it has to be done without the character sacrificing their morals.
This is definitely not necessary for me to enjoy a book, but it is a nice bonus.
I enjoy complicated books that have lots of different stories woven together into one. I often re-read books, so I enjoy when I am able to catch something that I was not able to catch the first time.
I don’t like characters that are just doing something for the money, or who are willing to betray their friends when things get hard. I don’t mind if the characters start out that way, but I would rather if the characters are trying to do things for the right reasons. Of course, different characters have to have different motives, and it is fine for not honorable characters to be in a book. I just prefer when the hero is, or becomes, honorable.
So those are ten things that I love when are in books, and I try to include some of them in each of the books that I write.