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Debates > What Do You Look For In A Story?

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message 1: by K.C. (new)

K.C. Hunter (kchunter) | 9 comments So, as an author myself, I am always wondering what people are looking for as readers when they want to find a new story to read.

Is it the characters, the cover, the title, the description, wild environments, lots of worlds, romance, a combination of these?

I'm rather curious as I've heard from some of my readers that there are a variety of things they like but none of them seem to be universal.


message 2: by Abigail (new)

Abigail (trabiagil25) | 34 comments For me, it's an unusual romance. For instance, in His Fair Assassin, the man is ugly and the woman the assassin. It's different and fresh and their love goes beyond beauty.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

For me the characters and the character development are the most important part in a story. For example, you can have a REALLY boring story line but for me, if your characters are interesting, I'll find some sort of enjoyment reading it. On the other hand if you have poorly developed, boring or, the worst of all, a Mary (Gary) Sue as a character your storyline could be the coolest plot anyone had ever made up and still I'll hate it.

But a good cover is not to underestimate. The cover is the first thing you see. It should definitely look appealing.


message 4: by K.C. (new)

K.C. Hunter (kchunter) | 9 comments So what would you say Anika are examples of good covers? I'm a bit indecisive about mine right now (although I'm told they are better than a few years ago).


message 5: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisapren) | 58 comments a big plot twist you cant see coming.Something that makes you stop and just think wtf just happened


message 6: by Elle (new)

Elle Harriet Silver (elleharrietsilver) | 25 comments Interesting characters and a strong plot.


message 7: by Natasha (new)

Natasha Lane (goodreadscomnatashadlane) | 15 comments I think the characters make or break a story. Often, storylines are repeated with some slight changes to make them unique. For example, we've also read books about monarchs who must end a rebellion. Something generic like that. However, this story is told repeatedly because each time a new set of character is introduced. Of course, there are other changes like individual writing styles but different characters are what can take the generic to the unique, Just my thoughts!


message 8: by Litfox (new)

Litfox Ag To have a innovative world bulding, shocking moments and of course interesting characters


message 9: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa Lafleur | 4 comments Characters are definitely the most important for me. The best stories have interesting, well developed characters that seem real enough to be people I could meet at the grocery store. When I become attached to the characters I want to know what will happen to them and how they will ever solve the problem(s) they're facing. That's what keeps me invested in a book and compels me to read just one more chapter even though it's two in the morning. :)


message 10: by V.S (new)

V.S I love well-developed characters as well as completely new worlds. Also, if they have a twist I didn't figure out 100 pages ago, amazing! I've also been reading more LGBTQ+ books lately, and I love the varieties in those relationships that I don' t find it many other books!


message 11: by George (new)

George (Books n' Guac) (booksnguac) | 199 comments Okay, I know I should never judge a book by it's cover, but I judge books by their covers. Cute cover art (or better yet, cover art that goes with the book!) is the first thing I look for. Don't forget the spine! When browsing for books at Barnes & Noble, usually the spine is what I first see, so make sure that the spine is an eye-catcher. After that, I just need a couple recommendations and a good hook/preview printed on the back off the book to entice me, and I'll probably buy it.
I also like unexpected twists, but not huge-twists, but smaller, less-enormous-twists. Maybe two people get into a relationship that wasn't expected (but makes sense when looking at it), or something else that's tiny but makes a large impact. I also like new, different tropes or tropes that are overused but have a fresh twist, like maybe boy-goes-to-wizard-school-but-actually-isn't-a-wizard or two-people-bump-into-eachother-and-when-it-should-be-love-at-first-sight-they're-actually-enemies. It should be new. Wow, this was a long comment, sorry!


message 12: by Lynne (new)

Lynne Stringer | 328 comments The cover usually motivates me to pick a book up. The blurb makes me decide if I want to read it. If it's something I think I'll be interested in, then I'll go for it.

If it's an author I've enjoyed before I'm likely to try it anyway. :-)


message 13: by Becca da (new)

Becca da Romance Queen (becca_da_romance_queen) | 5 comments For me, I am interested in romance as the main idea thing, that the book is based on romance. The cover also draws me in, but the cover doesn't say that much about a book. I need a good summary on the back cover or inside cover, a great romance, a strong lead character, and a trusted author. I don't only look for romance, I look for strong bonds and friendships, also a good climax and conflict.


message 14: by Zaara (new)

Zaara | 4 comments For me, if I don't find the characters interesting, I can't invest myself into the book. It doesn't matter how intricate the plot is, or how incredible the world-building is, if the character is unlike-able or flat, I just can't bring myself to enjoy the book. So it's definitely gotta be the characters that draw me to the story!


genevieve💟 (bookedwithgen) HUMOR! Kind of


message 16: by Aleena (new)

Aleena | 10 comments First and foremost for me is the writing. If the writing is bad I tend to DNF quickly. I prefer character-driven stories to plot-driven, but this depends. Also the world-building has to be good and if it is a fantasy novel, an interesting magic system.


message 17: by Random Pineapple (new)

Random Pineapple (certifiedkilljoy) I like fast paced books with likeable characters and a decent writing style (I don’t like long winded descriptions). I like action, a bit of romance, but preferably no love triangles. I’m okay with love triangles, but they can get on my nerves sometimes.


message 18: by Jessalyn (last edited Apr 03, 2020 01:49PM) (new)

Jessalyn Joy | 118 comments I like books that pick up speed at least halfway through the book. The characters have to be well introduced and well maintained. I love detail oriented books. It gives me a good sense of where I am at in the book. As well as what's going on around me. I love romance; juicy romance sometimes that is. I like science fiction but it can't be too out there or I get confused. I like some fantasy. I love dystopian novels like the Hunger Games and the Divergent series. I like some non fiction but it must be easy to read and easy to get into.


message 19: by Hunter (new)

Hunter | 136 comments For me, personally, there's not a singular correct answer; every factor depends on the others.

Example case #1: The writing could be shoddy and plain, but the characters and world could be developed - or intentionally left ambiguous - in a way that takes advantage of a lack of description.
Example case #2: A story could be really short and leave little time for development - but I find that, sometimes, short stories can be subversive masterpieces.
Example case #3: A book could have everything thought out perfectly - no exceptions - and be executed as such. Would I love it? Probably. But thorough doesn't always mean intriguing...

etc. etc.

The only constants I persistently desire are 1) no Mary Sues/Gary Stus and 2) the story having some lasting form of sentimental/personal value.


message 20: by L (new)

L (lizofwords) | 162 comments For me, you have to develop the characters well. Then you have to think what would he/she do in situations like this? Because if he/she does something but is totally our of his/her character then that just breaks the story. Also as a writer, try to avoid predictable plots. Add some plot twists to thrill the readers and hooking them to continue reading. Cover of the book is the first step on hooking and attracting the audience so make it creative, something one has not seen before! As an author, just be creative.


message 21: by Nazifa (new)

Nazifa Diya (nazifazamal) Friend’s banter and a group saving the day. ( plus a good side romance)


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