Friday, January 27, 2012

{RNW} Readers Weigh In

Ramblings of a Night Writer continues after one week off!  Last week was simply too hectic for me and life interrupted the writing in my neck of the woods.  I am slowly getting back on the horse this week on multiple levels, including {RNW}!  Last week, I had the opportunity to attend two very different author events, featuring Andrea Cremer and Thrity Umrigar.  Both were fascinating for very different reasons.  Then, earlier this week I was chatting with a friend about books, and a similar topic came up that was mentioned briefly in last week's events.  It really got me thinking about writing from a reader's perspective and wondering what a potential audience loves to read in books.  So today, I turn to all my fabulous readers to share your thoughts!

Tell Me:  What is it that hooks you to a book?  Is is well established characters?  Characters that you can relate to on multiple levels?  Or, is it the plot?  Does the story have to have tension to be a success in the reader's eyes?  Or, is it a fine balance of both?

As for me, I have come to truly love character development.  I have found myself reading a horrid book simply because I want to know what happens to a character that I have discovered some sort of connection with.  My case in point:  Anna Karenina!  I love to explore a character, his strengths and particularly, his flaws that make him that much more real to me.  Sometimes I care about the plot.  Sometimes tension can be important.  BUT, I find myself more invested if there is a character that stirs a strong emotion in me or feels familiar.


  1. I love a good character-driven story also. A book can feel inauthentic to me yet I will finish it because of the characters. I do appreciate good imagery also-something might be well-written but the characters are flat-I may keep reading that also just to fill up on the language.

  2. I agree too -- it's all about the characters. No matter how fast-moving the plot, if I don't care about the characters, I won't pick it up very often. But if it has a slow moving plot and fantastic characters, I'll just savor it that much more!

  3. Characters are important, as I lose interest if the main characters are boring or totally unlikable. But the plot is almost as important because even if the characters are awesome, I also need a good plot!

  4. I need that heartstopping plot and stunning a combo!!!

  5. This is a tough one because I change with my mood. My guess is the most important thing is the author's writing voice. I can usually read a couple of paragraphs and know that this is the book. The author's words and I have to connect. Without it, I grow bored.

  6. Peaceful Reader ... Very good point about the imagery! The very book that actually fits that description for me is The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I loved the writing, but I just could not connect to the characters or the story for that matter.

    Kristen M. ... Agreed! Characters are so important to me!

    Alexia561 ... Ha! That's funny you say that because this is almost exactly what inspired this post after a comment from a friend!

    Patty ... A combo is definitely ideal, though I will still continue to read with a weak plot if I love the characters.

    365andMe ... I love that you brought up something completely different than everyone else with author's voice. I didn't really think of that one, but now you've got me thinking about my writing and which is the best perspective to take! Thank you!


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