I’ve been thinking about what makes me love a book, and about what things need to be present in order for me to declare my love.
Often times, I can tell by the first page if I’m going to enjoy a particular book. There is something in certain books that is present from the beginning. The tone, the voice, is there from the start, and I immediately feel that connection to the characters in the story, the reasons why I even give a damn.
Even with the tone, the voice being right there, I still need a good story to sink my teeth in. I don’t necessarily need an action-packed book with twists and turns galore in order for me to be smitten.
Characters are important to me. I need to know their thoughts, feel their emotions. I need to hurt when they hurt, and soar off into the clouds when they finally reach their heart’s desire. I don’t need to even know what they look like. Chances are any description, unless it is something out of the ordinary, will be forgotten as I become engaged in the story.
I also like what I call clever writing, writing that makes me see the world in a way that I previously had not considered, or else those bits that make me sit up and take notice, declare, “Oh my God that’s exactly right!” You’ve got to love the author who can do that.
The book I’m reading at the moment is good solid writing. I would challenge anyone to say otherwise. However, here are no eloquent phrases, nor flowing sentences, no lovely passages that insist, “read me” one more time. Did I mention that those are some of the things I also like to see in a good book?
When describing this book I compared it to one of those books that we don’t want to put down, but saying that in the case of this book I wouldn’t care if I pick it up again. And yet, it doesn’t mean I hate it. If I don’t finish it I won’t really care because there’s a question that is plaguing me about this book and it’s this:
Where’s the story?
This is what I keep asking as I forge onward.
In order to make up for the plethora of questions I asked in an earlier post I’ve decided to leave you with one this time.
What is more important to you in a book the writing or the story?