5 Things That Grab Me About Page Turning Books
In the hustle and bustle of life, I see why people find it difficult to begin and finish a book. I admit, I’ve picked up a few, read the first page and clutched it tight to my chest thinking, Finally! I have it! Then I take it home. I read. I read more…and before I get a quarter of the way through the book I find myself making more excuses than not, to read it some other night. I do the horrible thing and I never pick that same book back up to finish it.
Like most of us, I blame time. But all in all, is that what it is, or is there something else getting in the way of me and that one book I swore I’d read all the way through but I didn’t?
These past couple of weeks I’ve stumbled across a few really great reads. I couldn’t wait to finish one. The other one I picked was great too, but it didn’t give me the same feeling. I started to think (dangerous, I know). I started to wonder what specific elements create that star magnetic feel where I simply can’t function without finishing that book. LOL.
So I made a list…
…and then I found myself laughing as I looked over my notes. You see, from my list, I also look for these things in my friendships. Like books, I love my friends more than life and this list is exactly what they provide me with too.
- Likeable relatable characters. I like the quirky ones, like Claire in the Morganville Vampire series, by Rachel Caine. I want someone with a redeeming quality I can relate to. Nerdy, yet brave. She’s willing to grow and do what she needs to do to live her conscience.
- Walk the talk. When the talk or dialogue I should say, matches the character. A great example of character is Tana, in The Coldest Girl in Town, by Holly Black. Human, real, I would have wanted to be her BFF back in the day. 😉 Tough chick there. She lived her character in thought, dialogue, and nothing seemed out of place. A few months back I read another YA series, and the characters were painted so well but then sometimes they’d open their mouths to talk, and the ball was dropped. It wasn’t the character speaking. It seemed like the safe thing to say.
- Real struggles develop to solve real problems. People make mistakes and learn and grow, for the most part. I love a great human character who makes a mistake and runs or doesn’t want to face it, but in the end, admits the truth. Rose in the Vampire Academy series jumps directly into my mind on this one.
- Action! Drive me forward. As a writer, I find I’m in love with the way I can paint a picture. I get lost in details or subplots and all the flashbacks. But sometimes, enough is enough. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, is the most excellent Young Adult book I’ve picked up recently, with one of my favorite structure plots in driving the action, yet answering all my questions. I couldn’t put that book down for a second.
- Lessons learned. Show me what the character has learned. I can get the subtle picture, but I notice at times, if there is too much left to the reader to guess, well, I certainly get frustrated. I admit, I fell into the mysterious trap myself, but then I realized it really is for me as a writer. Oh yeah! I have to admit, I’m a sucker for happy endings as well. There’s enough sad in this world and I hate to cry. Example? Little Women. I know I’ve mentioned this one before, but I loved Joe and she really got the short stick on that deal. 🙂
Question to you: Do you have a favorite thing or element that kept you engaged in your favorite book? I’d love to hear it.
Have a lovely Wednesday, all! Stay safe and warm, and always hold on to hope.