Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > General Discussions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 04-04-2012, 06:38 AM   #1
Ginge Club
Children's author
Ginge Club began at the beginning.
 
Ginge Club's Avatar
 
Posts: 4
Karma: 10
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Worcestershire, England
Device: Kindle
What makes a good book better?

What is it that makes the really good books stand out? I think a good book needs to be messy, chaotic, partly thought, partly planned, and one or two really good chapters (or really fine sentences) are better than a dozen workmanlike ones. This is a like asking, Is it inspiration, or is it craftsmanship? Unfortunately, I think I tend to be more a craftsman than inspired. What is is that stands out for you in a book?

George
Ginge Club is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2012, 08:04 AM   #2
Phogg
PHD in Horribleness
Phogg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Phogg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Phogg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Phogg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Phogg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Phogg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Phogg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Phogg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Phogg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Phogg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Phogg ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Phogg's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,623
Karma: 17185266
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: In the ironbound section, near avenue L
Device: Just a whole bunch. I guess I am a collector now.
My first thought was...
Being in a treehouse with a basket of kittens and some apples on a crisp October day makes a good book better.

Location, location, location.
Phogg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2012, 08:22 AM   #3
Apache
Readaholic
Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Apache's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,305
Karma: 31788794
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: South Georgia
Device: Nook Color / Nook HD+
There are many things that can make a book better.
Great characters are important and authors who uses descriptions that make make you believe you are there are two of many.
Apache
Apache is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2012, 10:10 AM   #4
Belfaborac
Wizard
Belfaborac ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Belfaborac ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Belfaborac ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Belfaborac ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Belfaborac ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Belfaborac ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Belfaborac ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Belfaborac ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Belfaborac ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Belfaborac ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Belfaborac ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Belfaborac's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,498
Karma: 5199835
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Norway
Device: Sony PRS-505, PRS-950
I just want a good story, well written. Other than that I'm with Phogg all the way - a howling winter storm outside, a roaring fireplace, a full pot of newly brewed, strong Assam and a glass of Single Malt. Location and ambience makes a huge difference.
Belfaborac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2012, 10:20 AM   #5
Apache
Readaholic
Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Apache ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Apache's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,305
Karma: 31788794
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: South Georgia
Device: Nook Color / Nook HD+
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belfaborac View Post
I just want a good story, well written. Other than that I'm with Phogg all the way - a howling winter storm outside, a roaring fireplace, a full pot of newly brewed, strong Assam and a glass of Single Malt. Location and ambience makes a huge difference.
Any place and any when is a good time to read a book. I ain't picky.
Apache
Apache is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2012, 10:24 AM   #6
JSWolf
Resident Curmudgeon
JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
JSWolf's Avatar
 
Posts: 37,713
Karma: 18475602
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Roslindale, Massachusetts
Device: Sony Reader PRS-650, iPad, nook STR
I know one thing that makes a good book better...proper formatting with no errors. You go to read a book that's formatted the way most are these days and no matter how good they are, the formatting is going to distract from reading.

A lot of eBooks are formatted with indents too big or no indents. They have big space between paragraphs. Left/right margins are way too big. They start the chapters halfway down the page with a lot of wasted space at the top of the page. They have the justification set to left. They create an internal ToC and then link chapter headers back to the internal ToC. They use a default font size of small. Lastly, sometimes they use a line height that's just too big. All of these things are distracting. So even if the story is very good, it's not going to be fun to read.

A well made eBook has no extra space between paragraphs except for section breaks. It has reasonable indents (I prefer 1.2em). The pages that starts chapters do not start halfway down the page. The base font size is left at the default. Justification is justified. No internal ToC is needed in an ePub. Use very small margins if you do use margins. So when you have a well made eBook, the eBook disappears and all you are focusing on is the story. So how enjoyable the read is is up to the story. The eBook then won't get n the way.
JSWolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2012, 10:46 AM   #7
mr ploppy
Feral Underclass
mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
mr ploppy's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,527
Karma: 26546435
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Yorkshire, tha noz
Device: 2nd hand paperback
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
I know one thing that makes a good book better...proper formatting with no errors. You go to read a book that's formatted the way most are these days and no matter how good they are, the formatting is going to distract from reading.
Formatting doesn't bother me, if it's too annoying I always reformat them to my own preferences anyway. It's all the typos that spoil them for me, nobody seems to bother with proof reading any more.

Also, and I haven't worked out why yet, some books send me to sleep while others keep me awake. It's down to writing style more than anything else, or maybe whether I can associate with any of the characters. Even books with total carnage on every page can send me to sleep, while books where nothing much happens can keep me awake.
mr ploppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2012, 10:49 AM   #8
RainingLemur
Spork Connoisseur
RainingLemur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.RainingLemur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.RainingLemur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.RainingLemur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.RainingLemur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.RainingLemur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.RainingLemur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.RainingLemur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.RainingLemur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.RainingLemur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.RainingLemur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
RainingLemur's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,358
Karma: 16780603
Join Date: Mar 2011
Device: Nook Color
Whisky.

Oh, you mean IN the book? A main character who drinks whisky. Or...Something that is well written. And has zombies. Whisky and zombies. Sounds like a fair deal to me.
RainingLemur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2012, 12:00 PM   #9
Ravensknight
Serpent Rider
Ravensknight ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ravensknight ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ravensknight ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ravensknight ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ravensknight ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ravensknight ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ravensknight ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ravensknight ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ravensknight ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ravensknight ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ravensknight ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Ravensknight's Avatar
 
Posts: 800
Karma: 5859972
Join Date: Jun 2009
Device: Sony 505, 350; Nook STR; Kindle T, NT4B; Nexus 7; Superpad 10in tablet
A sequel that is actually better than the aforementioned 'good' book...
Ravensknight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2012, 12:00 PM   #10
Talldog
Addict
Talldog ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Talldog ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Talldog ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Talldog ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Talldog ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Talldog ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Talldog ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Talldog ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Talldog ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Talldog ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Talldog ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Talldog's Avatar
 
Posts: 293
Karma: 1431716
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
Device: Kindle Paperwhite, KDX Graphite, Surface Pro
Being under the awning on a warm sunny day at the campground.

With whiskey. Kentucky bourbon or Tennessee whiskey on the rocks most days. A nice single malt on occasion.
Talldog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2012, 12:11 PM   #11
Nancy Fulda
I write stories.
Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Nancy Fulda's Avatar
 
Posts: 568
Karma: 10070902
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Northern Germany
Device: kindle
Literary agent Donald Maass (who represents several prominent authors) discusses this topic in "Writing the Breakout Novel". It's an excellent read, and I hesitate to attempt to summarize a rather lengthy book, but a couple of the elements he mentioned are:

Larger-than-life characters
Heightened stakes
Unexpected moments of grace
Beautiful language

I'm not sure whether I came away from the book able to write better novels, but I certainly came away from it thinking that Donald Maass is a very, very smart man.
Nancy Fulda is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2012, 01:13 PM   #12
RHWright
Groupie
RHWright ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.RHWright ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.RHWright ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.RHWright ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.RHWright ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.RHWright ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.RHWright ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.RHWright ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.RHWright ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.RHWright ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.RHWright ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 196
Karma: 1678000
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: North Carolina
Device: NOOK ST, Nexus 7
Why do you fall in love?

It's different every time and for every one. And it's often the small things that make the difference.

Some of the common things, though they're not always present in every example of my favorite stories, and certainly to different degrees:

Character(s) I connect with
Ideas to think about
Well-crafted language suited to the story*
A plot that is just a little ahead of me and that presents some surprises, while at the same time fitting together in retrospect

*I love both Tolkien and Dashiell Hammett, but (other than for a lark) I'd hate to read LOTR written in Hammett's hard boiled style or the Maltese Falcon in Tolkien's epic prose.
RHWright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2012, 03:02 PM   #13
Fbone
Is that a sandwich?
Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Fbone ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Fbone's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,341
Karma: 67805067
Join Date: Jun 2010
Device: Searching ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Fulda View Post
Literary agent Donald Maass (who represents several prominent authors) discusses this topic in "Writing the Breakout Novel". It's an excellent read, and I hesitate to attempt to summarize a rather lengthy book, but a couple of the elements he mentioned are:

Larger-than-life characters
Heightened stakes
Unexpected moments of grace
Beautiful language

I'm not sure whether I came away from the book able to write better novels, but I certainly came away from it thinking that Donald Maass is a very, very smart man.
Very interesting. I like those elements in the books I read.
Fbone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2012, 02:56 AM   #14
VaporPunk
Evangelist
VaporPunk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VaporPunk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VaporPunk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VaporPunk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VaporPunk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VaporPunk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VaporPunk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VaporPunk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VaporPunk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VaporPunk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VaporPunk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
VaporPunk's Avatar
 
Posts: 409
Karma: 49186338
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Belgium
Device: Kindle 4 + Asus Transformer
I'm with the wolf here, good editing.

And nice maps in fantasy books, I loves me a good map!
VaporPunk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2012, 04:12 AM   #15
carpetmojo
Wizard
carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 3,108
Karma: 9269999
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: UK
Device: Sony- T3, PRS650, 350, T1, T3T2 . Finally the Dark Side, aK-Paperwhite
What makes a good book better?

Mr. Martin et al would probably suggest "more" ......

Eventually.
carpetmojo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Movies used to be my thing, but now a book makes my brain sing. dozer250k Introduce Yourself 5 04-16-2011 08:27 AM
calibre software makes te prs-300 good for pdf's? mrmojo Sony Reader 4 05-04-2010 11:49 AM
Dictionary lookup makes the book turn to first or last page frandav iRex 2 03-11-2010 02:54 PM
NUUT book Cybook-clone makes the rounds TadW News 2 12-14-2007 10:56 AM
What makes e-book readers expensive? TadW Which one should I buy? 10 01-21-2007 01:42 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:30 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.