What do YOU want from a novel?

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I gave up putting up the book I was reading on Goodreads…because so many were so bad, I couldn’t finish them. Each and every one had been recommended by glowing reviews yet they didn’t grab me or keep me wanting to read them. I know what I want to read, my latest review ‘Soul Doubt’ by D Hart St Martin, proves that but maybe other readers are looking for something different?

I want…believable, real, engaging characters

Identifying with the characters is paramount in my reading. I don’t have to like them all, but they need to be ‘real’. I’m a visual reader so if I can’t picture the characters acting out the scenes in the book, you’ve lost me already.

I want…a story that holds my attention

Moving on from the characters, it’s the story that holds me and compels me to read on. It can be happy, sad, thrilling, exciting or inspiring but I need to believe that the story is important. For me, the story isn’t the plot; it’s what the book is really about.

I want…a well-crafted book

I love words. I love them used to create a memorable sentence. I don’t mind background or words that move the reader from scene to scene but I want words used thoughtfully, provocatively and beautifully.

I want…a well-edited book

I’m not a stickler for this but if the formatting is heywire, there are additional words, words spelled incorrectly or if a book feels like a first draft, you’ll lose me after a couple of chapters. I may read on if the story is compelling but rarely to the end.

I want…to be left wanting more

I love reading a book that I enjoy so much that I can’t wait to read another by the author. We all have our favourite authors, those books we devour the moment they are released and many readers enjoy books from a series, each book a whole story in its own right while the next moves the characters and story on further.

I want…a story to dwell in

For me, all books are magic, transporting the reader to another time or place, away from our own reality. Total immersion is what I seek. I want to be clinging to the side of a Viking ship or taking my first space walk to fix a problem with the solar panels. I want to sun myself on a beach in Australia or battle the elements, climbing to a mountain summit. I want to ride a train to Budapest or a camel in the desert. I want to dance at a ball in my high necked gown or hide in a cave from a demon.

What do YOU want from a novel?

 

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4 responses »

  1. I think that’s what we all want and we have all been led astray by reviews. On Goodreads now I have a book listed as ‘currently reading’ but I gave up on it quite some time ago and have read several others since then. As you said about, Wendy, I, too, strive to write what I’d like to read and for that reason I am always thrilled to get a review from someone who doesn’t know me and who has no object in trying to please me by giving a good review. I’m thankful that my reviews do seem to be genuine and pretty much all of my readers love my stories. As I’m self-published I try very hard with the editing and am learning all the time and improving. Still, none of mine are really bad, I hope! A very interesting and comprehensive article, thank you.

    • Glad you enjoyed it, Jeanette:-) Reviews for my first novel, Destiny of Angels, were really useful to me too. I had some POV issues and a few other editing glitches but was able to make sure that the second book in the trilogy, didn’t have any and make changes when I brought out a second edition. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and good luck!

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