Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login


Closed to new replies
December 29, 2012


Replies: 17

What do you think makes a good book?

Jinyuu Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student Filmographer
I want to write a book, but short on ideas. So, what do you love to read? Do you thrive off adventure or, cry onto the pages for a lost of a character? What do You think makes a good book?

You can no longer comment on this thread as it was closed due to no activity for a month.

Devious Comments

stoneman123 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You know, it's much more important to decide what you want to read. Answering that question will be much more useful in determining what sort of book you'd like to write. Nevertheless, there are some generalties I would share. I believe that the best stories do three things: one, show you something you've never seen before, two, teach you a lesson, and three, most importantly, entertain. Personally, the stories I like to read are works of speculative fiction with highly original settings, and plots that tend more towards action than intrigue or romance. However, I'm painfully aware that there is a huge market for books with no appreciable world-building and with plots that gravitate entirely towards intrigue and/or romance. After all, The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells (and one of my favorite books) has not done nearly as well as George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones series.

Don't make the mistake of writing something just because you think it will sell. If you want to make money, you can write three or four formulaic romance novels a year, and you'll almost certainly come to hate writing after that. No, write the sort of book that you like. You can determine a target audience later. Also, if you're just getting into writing novels, I recommend you read this article, by Randy Ingermanson: [link] Ingermanson has been instrumental in teaching me how to write.

No matter what you choose, from one writer to another, I wish you luck.
Jamzybunny Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Student General Artist
If you have lots of characters, make sure they have different traits and abilities. If you have two characters that are similar and aren't very big in the story, you could combine them.
danwishfire Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think all the little things make a book really good. I love it when the plot is really set outside and the characters are mysterious and deep. Books with long travels in them. (Into The Wild, LOTR, The Hobbit etc)

(sorry for my english)
Memnalar Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
NoFaithInBrooklynxx Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I've written many short stories, glad to here your considering making one. I think it's good to have a genera of characters. You know different personalty's and didn't story's behind them, apposed to all of them girls who all are happy to were maybe one was adopted after her parents were abducted and another character who has a opposite life and gets everything they want. I like different characters with a lot of different personalty's. Also story twist , throw the people off and make something happen that you. I r readers didn't expect. That's just my opinion id love to read your story!
XXAnemia Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012
Beautiful writing style!
Chuck Palahniuk is my all time favorite writer, half the time i have no idea what he's on about but the way he puts words together... FUCK THAT MAN IS A WRITING GOD
allibw Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist
i heared this once and think its soo true, i always keep it in mind when im writting. when it comes to bad guys the best ones always think there the good guys. And also everyone wants a relatable character. and the relationship between characters is important. when i read I want to escape. i want to trade in my problems with the problems in the book im reading.Books that create an experiance,play with emotion,and have a bit of philosophy that just makes you wonder.. are the type for me. honestly the end makes a book good or bad. im not saying you have to have a happy ending to make a good book. cuz you dont it.i tend to like my endings a little conflicted. becouse in most of the books ive read the characters went through they will never the same people they where at the beggining. i also love seeing all the different sides of the supernatural.- good luck with ur story.
NeutraStaff Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
Think about cliff hangers as well. Though a lot of people do not like them because it leaves them wanting to know more about the in-conclusion at the ending, it opens the possibility of you making a sequel and stretching the story out more.
twipplestoast Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012   Writer
A good book to me is something that we haven't seen before, especially fantasy. I think we already get the idea of vampires vs. werewolves and that they hate each other. Vampires are lovers and suck blood, and werewolves are humans who turn all fuzzy during a full moon. As well as witches and wizards. They wave magic around, woooo. Create something that hasn't been exhausted like the above.

Take the risk that others are afraid to take. Read the negitive reviews of popular books and see what it is the people wanted to see but didn't get. Regardless of your style, your writing - though I feel like I fail at this - should be able to paint a picture in people's mind, rather than control what they see.

The characters should connect to the reader; make them lovable. What drives the character to act, what are his weeknesses, the people who have influenced him. No one likes to read a story where the character, especially the main character, is depressed all the time and a druggy suicidel emo - lest they can relate, but that's a very small audience. If a major character is suppose to die, make sure that beforehand the character is well loved by the reader and that his/her death isn't meaningless. It adds a great sense of feeling and true loss to the story.

Don't give all the plot out at once. Try to stretch it out: add twists, reveal the truths and, or, lies of the story (depending), but don't exhaust the plot by repeating already known facts.

Again, something we have never seen before. There've been hundreds, if not, thousands of people's takes on already exsisting ideas/plots.
CherryBlossomGeisha Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
unpredicatbility, it makes things all the more interesting.. not many books have that nowadays.. they have a repetitive pattern..
not only that, but the actual plot of the story should be key too. ^_^
Nenril-Tf Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I think that the most importante thing for a good book is the way it is written. I mean you can do a book on whatever you want, but the thing that makes it special is how you can express what you say: there is a difference between "give me a kiss" and " un baise est un secret qui prende la bouche pour oreille"; of course the plot it is importante, but a great story written in a horrible manner turn bad, while a horrible story written in a geart manner, it is great itself.
TrickyCreature Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Use past tense. Not too much monologue. Describe, what's going on. The colour of the furniture, which kind of it, etc. Same with buildings, cars etc. Mention random things, like a cigarette rest on the floor or some cobwebs hanging from the ceilings.
Begin with characters at one point, but let them develop their personalities. Confuse them, let them learn. Shock them. Let a goody turn into a baddy. That's more realistic than the other way round.
Insert random things like person a speaking in a posh manner and person B with an Irish/New Yorkian/Spanish etc. accent. Let the reader see that Person C is really educated and person D a redneck/chav/bogan. Let them use appropriate language i.e. person E swearing and using colloquialisms and person F being the one with the word games.
Let the story be consistent. Begin the story, let it build up and then come to a climax. And watch out a) for which kind of readers it shall be and b) the laws in your county/state/country. If sex&drugs&rock'n'roll or blasphemy are getting involved it can turn into a minefield. And be aware of your genre.
Only TROMA would by a horror novel with a lot of singing going on and nobody would buy a fantasy/gore/hardcore porn crossover.
Ah, well, and for political correctness's sake: Avoid stereotypes, if possible. Don't let the black guy be killed first or Mr Goldstein be a jeweller, if it's not absolutely necessary.
Don't describe cities and towns you don't really know. But you can make them up. Everybody will think he/she's heard about Springfield somewhere in the US, Throwup-on-the-Hill in Essex, Los Fuentes in Spain/Mexico/Argentina, Breckenbach in Germany/Austria or even a whole country called Dzholwynia somewhere in the Balcans.
And if you're describing fantasy or sci-fi worlds you're nearly free to let your imagination go on a rampage. *ggg*
Good luck, anyway! *thumbs up*
dr-shadowbell Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student General Artist
What makes a good story to me...

PLOT. Lots of unpredictable twists.

IMAGERY. You have to build a picture in the reader's head. Lack of imagery and making a story base itself on actions is what can make a story appear "amateurish." (Trust me, I have a lot of trouble with this.) As long as it's not tedious and it's balanced with great plot-moving action, imagery can turn a good story into an amazing story.

CHARACTERS. Characters move the plot. Who they are influences what they will do. You have to give them flaws along with their strengths. Characters don't necessarily have to be good-looking, interesting, or have interesting things happen to them to make the story enjoyable to read, but you may do as you wish with them.

Other things that will help you make a good story are originality, a compelling setting, conflict, and a loveable writing style. These all generally appeal to people who enjoy any genre.
fROSEn24 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
what makes a good book is a good have that and then i wont analyze the drawing or the writing style tooo much......thats how i accepted one piece when it came out
elrik117 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012
well im whriting a story now
i call it Fantases Requiam, [link]
it sortof combinds sienc fiction and advencher with fantusy
i have resently found a website called Mythic Scribes [link] it gave me some ideas for knowing how to use caricters and plot points
it told me that there are about five ideal rules for making a bad ass charicter
1. Relatability
2. there perpus
3. there diolog
4. having theme deal with real chalenges
and 5. alow them to fail

and to answer your queschion, a good book has multibul parts that makes it what it is, the charicters, the seting, the plot, and of corse how compelling it is
orijonality dusent falf to be a factor, evin though it helps, but when you combine all of those factors, and you have your self a good book
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Presentation-Is the story connected in a well understood fashion, is the plot presented in a grounded but creative manner. Does the style stand out to the reader, does it present the situation, setting, genre in an innovative way? (the cover illustration) does the cover present the overall tone, theme, tension and/or show a specific point in the story?

Pacing- How does the story pace itself? Is it like a nonstop decathlon or is it more relaxed like a casual conversation at a coffee shop, or does it use the pacing to create logical or believable twists, tension and examine the characters/setting/plot?

Layering- Is the story a straight-forward read or are their underlying plot points, connections, references, details that can be revealed or rediscovered if read again and again and again?

Characters- Do the characters fit the plot,or are their personalities forced to fit the story or vice versa? Are their perspective, actions, quirks seem easy to relate to?

Conflict- Is the antagonistic force believable and active in the story/plot , or is it just tucked in the shadows for the final performance?

These qualities are is how I define a good book. American Gods by Neil Gaiman, Sherlock Holmes mysteries by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Orphans Series by Robert Buettner are among what I call 'good books'.
Otackoon Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student Filmographer
Well, I like to chose a book before buying it.. I read the first pages, then the last page, if I understand it, then it means the story is quite predictable, if I can't then... I NEED to buy it xD

I think a good book is made ny interesting characters and a good plot, and they both have to interact in a way that makes the reader feel what is in the story... personally I love John Katzenbatch's novels, and Anne Rice's O3o
O love dark psychological stuff xD I will read a bit of everything but mostly thrillers O3o

that is just meh~ xD

I have a novel too, is called Index, is a vampire novel, but had nothing to do with the modern vampire crap, I am trying to stay true to the essence of real vampires and do some research to make them as believable as fantastic creatures can get xD
Add a Comment: