As part of my resolutions, I’m working on adding to and improving my fantasy novel, From Under the Mountain. I have a lot of ideas to work with, but I also wanted to poll you readers and find out what has made your favorite fantasy novels (or any novel, really) really stand out for you. I’ve asked for feedback like this before with battle scenes, but now I’m just talking about general story-telling. So, I pose the question to you:

systems-thinking

Q. What do you look for in a novel?  What gets you engaged and keeps your attention–romance, suspense, action, etc? Please be specific about your favorite kind of ______ or anything else you’ve found to be really interesting.

I look forward to hearing your responses! Share this around to your friends as well–the more responses, the better. Thanks!

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2 thoughts on “What Do You Want in a Fantasy Novel?

  1. Generally in novels, I look for a number of things. Interesting characters, flawed but very real is always good. Two dimensional characters will put me off a book very quickly (and sadly, a lot of fantasy novels suffer from this, although the best fantasy novels often have some of the most memorable characters too). Also the writing style I find important – getting the balance right between being verbose enough to describe things well, to flow smoothly and to really hook the reader in, without going too far and just plain old rambling. Speaking of writing, believable dialogue is extremely important for me as well. A bit of humour I think always serves well in writing too – if it’s a light hearted book it’ll add charm, if it’s a darker book, or a tragedy of sorts, it’ll disarm the reader (my favourite books have done this to me).
    I think perhaps more than anything else though, what I really look for is a book that will play with my emotions. A book that will break my heart, that will devastate or shatter me, is going to be far more memorable than one that ends happily ever after. Not to say it has to end sadly, but I think it has to pull me through a wide range of emotion to really stay with me after I’ve read it.
    I hope some of this helps, I fear I may have just rambled (after saying how much that can annoy me in books). 😛

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