Much of what I’m learning of writing has come from reading. I’m sure this is true with most writers, but I have been fortunate enough to come across some really unique books in the past few months, so I am eager to share what I have learned.
The most recent book I read had a few things that drove me a crazy, but I kept reading because I’d never read a fantasy story with a world like the one created in this story. There were creatures I’d never heard of, and a way of separating the mortal world with the world of magic that I’d never imagined. I loved exploring this amazing world with the main character, even as I tried to overlook some of the frustrating things about this writer’s style.
Happily, I finished this novel and looked for another novel by this author. I discovered several more books in this series and immediately started on another one.
A problem, however, very quickly occurred. I realized, after learning all about this incredible world, there was not much to keep my interest. Things like stereotypical characters, predictable plots, and tedious, somewhat pointless sections, suddenly became a much bigger problem. I plan to continue reading this book as long as I can, and hope that I find reasons to keep reading, but I find it surprising how important exploring this new world was to my overall enjoyment of this book.
This fact really made me curious about what a winning novel really needs. Yes, it would be amazing if it had everything, but is being really good in one way enough? Can it “carry” an entire novel?