What Makes A Book Great? - The Butterfly Reader

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

What Makes A Book Great?

Have you ever sat down and wondered what makes a book great? Is it the writing? The characters? The world building? Maybe the message? There are many things that can make a book great and everyone has an opinion on what those reasons are. Today, I'm going to share my thoughts on what makes a book great.

1) Characters

Characters make or break a novel for me. If I can't handle the main character than the book will suck to me. If it's that bad, I will DNF it. Now, I don't mean bad characters because I can follow a good villain and see their story. I mean, flat, useless, and lifeless kind of characters that are just so boring they can't hold my attention. I also can't stand a 'bratty' main character. How can I cheer for someone I want to toss out a window?

I need well written, solid characters that feel like they could actually be out there in the world somewhere just living their lives. Great characters can make a great book.

2) World Building 

Nothing is worse than diving into a high fantasy novel and given no idea whatsoever how the world works. The customs, mannerism, their way of life. It all matters and can really ruin a book. Now, of course, this doesn't matter in a contemporary the world is our world and we know how it works... I hope. But for those sci-fi, paranormal, and fantasy novels, we need to know!

If a book takes its time to develop the world, pulling me in with vivid descriptions and lush worlds, it will leave a lasting impression on me. Solid world building makes a book great.

3) The Plot

Alright, a show of hands please, who has ever finished a book and at the end, you'd guessed every single little thing that had happened? Or it was just so basic that you just tossed it aside and never thought of it again?

Yeah, a bad or basic plot can ruin a book. But if a plot has you on the edge of your seat, so sucked in that you forget to eat and pick your kids up from school... well that's a book you won't forget any time soon. A strong plot makes a book great.

4) The Writing 

Okay, this happens to me far more than anything else on this list. Bad or unedited writing.  I can't tell you how off-putting it is when I'm really into a book and find a mistake, totally takes me out of the book. Sadly, I still see mistakes in indie work but on the bright side, it's much better than it used to be!

As for bad writing... I've read books that honestly felt like someone just published their unedited rough draft and that is not a great book. No rough draft is golden. They need a lot of work before they become a great book.

Bad writing can pull you out of a story or even confuse you. I've read books where I've read a sentence over and over and still not understood just what the heck was going on. So writing can make a book great.
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These are my top reasons for what makes a book great. As you can see, it's not just one thing. It's like baking a cake you need more than one ingredient. Let me know below what you think makes a great novel.  Hope you have a great day!








5 comments:

  1. Those are my top reasons, too! I’d also add the setting. I love atmospheric books set in odd locations.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. Setting is a good one! I mean especially in horror, without a great atmosphere the book kinda flops. Great choice!

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  2. I would have to agree with all the points you make. Sometimes however, some novels just wow me and it is hard to figure out how or why. I think in that case it boils down to the writing, because that is what brings all the other factors together and it is some kind of magic. When that happens for me I am at my happiest as a reader.

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    1. Yes! I've read many books that just left me wondering why it was so amazing and figured it had to be the writing. It is some kind of wonderful magic.

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  3. Totally agree with you on these, especially characters and writing. Characters are truly central to my enjoyment of a book, but bad writing is the one thing that will DEFINITELY turn me off!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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