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View Poll Results: What genre do you like best?
Romance 19 23.17%
Fantasy 36 43.90%
Science Fiction 43 52.44%
Realistic Fiction 15 18.29%
Horror/thriller 12 14.63%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 82. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-19-2013, 09:13 AM   #31
cromag
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All of the above: good plot, good characters, good writing, etc.

In mysteries (as opposed to "Thrillers," which I'm not especially fond of) I need to find hints to the resolution in the storyline, but if I can figure it out and the protagonist plods along without making progress, I lose interest.

My education and former day job were science related, so if a SF author tries to justify a plot twist or development with meaningless jargon, I'm likely to move on to the next story.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:54 AM   #32
QuantumIguana
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I like a plot that catches my interest and makes me think. I've read someone Larry Niven's stories about transport booths, and it kept me thinking about what would be the impact of faster and cheaper transportation. Sure, maybe his transport booths aren't realistic, but you can use them to think about trends in transportation technology. It used to be that shipping goods across the world took months or even years. When people emmigrated, they very often said goodby to their family forever. Now, coming over for a visit is very possible.

I like believable characters - an "awesome" character isn't as interesting a character. Such as a character with 3 Ph.D's, 10th degree black belts in multiple styles, an ace pilot, international financier, famous inventor and 5-star chef. The character who can do everything is dull.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:21 AM   #33
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I like fantasy best.

A good storytelling makes a good book for me.
It basically comes down to how interesting and innovative story is and whether is makes me flip pages going: What happens next!!!!!!
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:18 PM   #34
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Strong characterization. I want to be able to believe that at least three characters in the book could be real people in the setting of the book and the main character should have at least one admirable quality and relate somewhat to others even if evil.

Generally I prefer a fair amount of dialogue as well and a plot that goes somewhere eventually .
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:44 AM   #35
eti.mar
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There are 3 ingredients that make a good book : the story, the story and the story...
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:11 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eti.mar View Post
There are 3 ingredients that make a good book : the story, the story and the story...
I disagree. I need engaging characters, preferably in a strongly character-driven plot. Good characters and good dialog can paper over a weaker plotline and still leave an enjoyable book. Not necessarily a great one, but then, that wasn't the question.

I have other critereia for what makes a book worth reading, but those are unique to my requirements, and don't necessarily apply to a general statement.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:28 PM   #37
QuantumIguana
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There are 3 ingredients that make a good book : the story, the story and the story...
Yes, but what makes a good story?
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:31 PM   #38
Istvan diVega
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Originally Posted by BeccaPrice View Post
Good characters and good dialog can paper over a weaker plotline and still leave an enjoyable book. Not necessarily a great one, but then, that wasn't the question.
I'm with you. If the writing is good and the characters believable and engaging, the book can be an excellent read even with a totally defective storyline. Actually the characters don't need to be believable either; just engaging will do nicely. Of course, the worse the story is and the less believable the characters are, the better the writing has to be in order to compensate, until at some point no writer alive or dead could save it.

In order of importance, my requirements are:

Good writing
Well-constructed characters
Good story

As far as what makes a good story, I'm sure there are almost as many answers as there are readers.

Last edited by Istvan diVega; 03-20-2013 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:27 PM   #39
Catlady
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Originally Posted by Istvan diVega View Post
I'm with you. If the writing is good and the characters believable and engaging, the book can be an excellent read even with a totally defective storyline. Actually the characters don't need to be believable either; just engaging will do nicely. Of course, the worse the story is and the less believable the characters are, the better the writing has to be in order to compensate, until at some point no writer alive or dead could save it.

In order of importance, my requirements are:

Good writing
Well-constructed characters
Good story

As far as what makes a good story, I'm sure there are almost as many answers as there are readers.
I couldn't disagree more.

Story is king. The good writing and the interesting characters serve the story.
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:57 PM   #40
DiapDealer
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Originally Posted by Istvan diVega View Post
I'm with you. If the writing is good and the characters believable and engaging, the book can be an excellent read even with a totally defective storyline. Actually the characters don't need to be believable either; just engaging will do nicely. Of course, the worse the story is and the less believable the characters are, the better the writing has to be in order to compensate, until at some point no writer alive or dead could save it.

In order of importance, my requirements are:

Good writing
Well-constructed characters
Good story

As far as what makes a good story, I'm sure there are almost as many answers as there are readers.
Sorry for going off-topic, but I just had to interrupt to give you two thumbs-up on your choice of user-name. Without a doubt... my favorite fictional swordsman of all time.

Carry on.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:34 PM   #41
Xanthe
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I like urban fantasy - not the sword & dragon type of fantasy. It combines elements of fantasy, horror, romance and science fiction, so I didn't know how to classify it.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:55 AM   #42
Istvan diVega
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Sorry for going off-topic, but I just had to interrupt to give you two thumbs-up on your choice of user-name. Without a doubt... my favorite fictional swordsman of all time.

Carry on.
Well, colour me impressed. I was sure that book was too old and too obscure for anyone to know the name. Two upturned thumbs hereby returned in honour of your excellent memory.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:04 AM   #43
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I couldn't disagree more.

Story is king. The good writing and the interesting characters serve the story.
Nothing wrong with disagreement. Personally I'd be happy to read utter nonsense with no aim or direction, just as long as it was excellently written nonsense. Still, in my experience it's exceedingly rare to come across a writer who writes well, but can't do characters, stories or plots, so the question is mainly academic.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:11 AM   #44
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For me, a good book must be internally consistent. The story should be interesting and the writing should be appropriate to the story. Impossible or improbable devices or inventions should be kept to a minimum, and their presence taken into account in the story.

Most of all, I should enjoy reading it, and be concerned about the outcome.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:15 AM   #45
DiapDealer
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Well, colour me impressed. I was sure that book was too old and too obscure for anyone to know the name. Two upturned thumbs hereby returned in honour of your excellent memory.
I'm still hoping to replace my rotting paperbacks of The Lost Prince and King Chondos' Ride (the original duology) with legitimate ebook versions some day.
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