Character is King

 

A row of my YA books, spine out

Want to meet people? Open a book.

I picked up something new to read this week. Well, something old, actually – in a lull between books I grabbed any old something from my bookshelf and started to read.

The writing wasn’t the best. Well, no, I’ll be honest – the novel simply wasn’t written in the style I prefer. I like subtlety and, for me, this was a bit clunking and obvious.

However, despite that I read it and loved it. I got lost in the book because of the characters.
The writer created a beautiful cast of characters and made me care about them – each was a flawed human being, weighed down by their history and pre-conceptions doing the best they could in the situation they found themselves – which turned out to be the worst possible thing to help them achieve what they wanted.

They became real people in my head, and whatever other faults a book might have, if you can create people I care about, now that’s good writing.

Leave a comment – what can transform a mediocre book for you? Characters – or something else?

About katyhaye

Katy Haye writes fast-paced fantasy novels for YA readers and is fascinated by the science of stories.
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6 Responses to Character is King

  1. Sue Bavin says:

    Interesting question. I think, for me, it would be a pacey plot. I could forgive a book a lot if I wanted to know what happened next.

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  2. ejfrostuk says:

    Absolutely characters. Unless the author is Thomas Hardy, in which case, description. Even if it is a description of a tree. 😉

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  3. Gill Stewart says:

    Characters are definitely important to me, although if the style was too clunky I think that would put me off. Descriptions – no! Plot, to some extent, but I hate books that have too much plot driven (in my opinion) as it feels like you’re always leaning forward and not enjoying where you are.

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