As you can see, I still haven’t figured out any kind of blogging schedule yet. I think I’m still very leery about things so I’m playing it by ear.
Something I’ve been speculating on lately is what makes a book good.
I’ve written about what makes a book good to me, but there have been plenty of books I’ve read that have garnered tons of acclaim that just don’t do anything for me.
A prime example of this is the 50 Shades
monstrosity franchise. As a writer, one who likes to think they are half way decent at writing erotica, I read that book and thought it was ridiculous on so many levels. It appeared a lot of things to me though including not well written. It doesn’t give an accurate portrayal of those who practice the BDSM lifestyle. It also wasn’t much in the way of erotica either.
So why the heck were people reading this book like it was going out of style???
I’ve given it some thought, and to me it’s the one ingredient that sells books: A good story.
That’s it, bottom line. The reader is extremely forgiving of many errors if it’s a good story (and this book had lots of errors). Even as I cussed E.L. for a number of things as I read, I still found myself unable to simply walk around from the book. I needed to finish, though my pace was very slow (an oddity to for me as an avid reader. Usually it takes me a day to finish, when this took me 3).
Another example of a book that fits this category for me is Forest of the Forsaken.
The book had a host of flaws including shoddy character development, unresolved points, rushed moments, etc. But… But I couldn’t put it down. It was weird and creepy and extremely odd, but I had to find out what happened next. It was a good story.
When we read, it’s the story that carries us along. If I set my writer’s mind aside, I can enjoy a book if the story line is good enough.
Something to think about when I write, I suppose. Write an un-put-downable story.
I agree completely. It irritated the life out of me and I cringed every few seconds, but I wanted to know how it ended!
That’s how I felt. It was like driving by a bad wreck you can’t look away from.
One weird thing to think about, I saw the author of 50 Shades on television and she seemed quite embarrassed by the success her book had attained, not because of it’s subject matter but it’s mediocracy. I don’t know about you but there are definitely things I’ve written here that I would NOT want to become a reference for…anything really. One never knows what may become a phenomenon. 🙂 An overnight sensation!
You are right about a good story!
I give her props for writing a good piece, but I can’t understand how that’s what draws people in. Well, I guess I can understand.
I haven’t read 50Shades and I’m not going to because so many people have said how poor it is, but i did read the Davinci Code when that was everywhere. And although it was badly written and seemed to be more about Dan Brown showing of his knowledge of Paris a lot of the time, it did keep me turning the pages. So i know that feeling of “this is rubbish but i cant put it down.”
It’s so weird! The story line just gets you and you can’t seem to stop. How do I make my stories like that??
whenever i watch a film or read a book that really captures my excitement, i try to work out what the secret ingredient is. why am i so desperate to know what happens next in contrast to other films/books where i couldn’t care less and give up. And i have to say I don’t know the answer 🙁 I can point to technical points that make it good, but good doesnt make exciting or enthralling.
I’m too much of a writer I guess. My expectation when I read is great storyline and great writing. I liked that the book moved people to explore their sexuality, but to me there are better authors to look at.
Selena Kitt, Remittance Girl, Bella Andre, Lorelei James. Those are some I like.
Hi! I was so HAPPY to find the invite in my email. I thought you had disappeared off the planet…lol. I’m so glad you are still writing and still blogging and not letting anyone stop you. (I do apologize for the run-on sentence, but I’m HAPPY) 🙂 More on topic, yes, I think there has to be a good story line.
Hiya. Glad ya found me. Just had a change in venues, I couldn’t give up completely. 🙂
I’m definitely with you there! I read the first 50 Shades book till the end because I was enjoying the story and my daughter, who rarely reads unless it’s on a beach, read all 3. It definitely has cracked the magic formula 🙂
I want to crack the formula! Lol. I just want to write stories people want to read.
Me too Cara!
If you find the secret formula, let me know! 😉
Lol. If I figure it out, I’m telling all my friends.
I think at least part of the appeal to 50 Shades was that it was so so easy to read. People who didn’t read could pick it up any read it. And because of the widespread popularity of the book, people who wouldn’t normally read “erotica” could feel comfortable picking up the book because “everyone” was reading it.
I hadn’t considered that, or maybe I had and just ignored it as an option. Perhaps I’m being a snob about it, but I’ve read better and that alone bothers me. I guess if it’s a gateway to people reading… Well, I guess I can’t complain. Or I can, but no so loudly.
It also helped keep random house ticking (http://news.yahoo.com/fifty-shades-grey-boosts-random-112244029.html) But, yeah, still. Hopefully people reach out and read better written books. Haha.