What do you want?

Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

What does it take to impress you when you are reading someone else’s book?

I want all the things that I strive to produce in my own work. Other authors are the people who have inspired me, I’ve always tried to produce stories that are at least equal to theirs.

What I want is:-

A good setting, plot and characters. Preferably ones that are not run of the mill. I like a quirky premise or hero, a plot that makes me think.

Set your novel in a place or a time I’ve never been to and know nothing about, push a few boundaries.

Don’t sell me short on the worldbuilding. It can be as fantastical as you like, as long as it’s something I can believe in.

It’s really important to treat the location as a character.

Make sure that everything in the world is realistic, logical and based on some shred of truth.

I like a hero who is not what you might expect, take me on a journey with him or her as they find themselves. I don’t care if they ultimately win or lose, as long as what they do is believable and gets me invested in the outcome.

I HATE information dumping. I want to read a story, not an encyclopaedia. Make it interesting, make me want to know why. Then tell me in a way that moves the plot along.

I need realistic emotions and behaviour from everyone. Don’t give me physics-defying action, or fights where everyone needs three hands to do what you reckon they’re doing.

A clever twist. I want that sudden intake of breath when I find out who did what, how and why. Then the realisation that, if I’d been paying a little more attention to the clues you had left through the story, I would have known it already.

In short, I want to be entertained, thrilled and transported away from my reality to yours.

And if you can manage all those things, in return I’ll come back and read the next one, then the one after that.

Let me know what you think about this week’s subject.

I’d love to get your comments, please leave them below. While you’re here, why not take a look around? There are some freebies and lots more content, about me, my writing and everything else that I do. You can join my newsletter for a free novella and more news by clicking this link.

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11 Responses

  1. Stephen Bungay

    Agree with all of what you wrote, to sum up I usually want to “escape”, to “be in the book”. There’s nothing like getting so lost in a story that when you look up from the page, reality is disappointing.

    • Richard Dee

      If you can believe that you’re there and watching what’s happening, the story is doing it’s job.

    • Richard Dee

      There is no better feeling than when someone you’ll never know compliments your work.

  2. Leon Stevens

    “I HATE information dumping. I want to read a story, not an encyclopaedia. Make it interesting, make me want to know why. Then tell me in a way that moves the plot along.”

    I agree. If I want to learn something, I’ll read non-fiction.

    “It’s really important to treat the location as a character.” – I like this!

    • Richard Dee

      The location has moods, it can inspire emotion and suggest action. It’s as much a character as any other living thing.

  3. P.J. MacLayne

    I once had a person doing a critique tell me they should be able to identify the villain in the first chapter. I promptly ignored their advice.

    • Richard Dee

      Sometimes I can’t identify the villain till the end, and I’m writing it.

  4. phil huston

    All excellent reasons. I can do without a lot of set, though. I don’t a description of the neon signs, just tell me it’s a dive bar parking lot. Doesn’t matter if it’s Huntington Beach or Tulsa, Oklahoma because all I need to know in the moment is the dive bar parking lot. A run down buff brick building across the street from a shuttered with plywood, fenced off 1940s brewery. I’m good.

    The rest, yeah.

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