Tuesday, 22 May 2012

What Makes a Good Book?

This is something that bothers me as a writer, and often as a reader as well.

Sometimes I read books that I know are very good, but I don't care. I don't like them. They're dull.

Sometimes I read books that are utterly terrible, but I love them. In fact, most of my favourite books aren't very well-written at all. The important things is that they have good stories, characters that I find interesting, and are gripping. All the fancy writing in the world can't make up for that. All the Creative Writing degree nonsense can't make up for that (only I am allowed to say that because in a few weeks I will have a Creative Writing degree)

Of course, there are some books that are excellently written and which are enjoyable. Off the top of my head, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials.

And then there are those books that really aren't written very well - like The Hunger Games - which have excellent stories and sell millions of copies. They give me hope. My writing isn't brilliant, I'm the first to admit it, but I like to think I have to kind of stories that people will engage with. That people will enjoy, even if I'm not the next Tea Obreht or Jennifer Egan. Hopefully a publisher will see it the same way, too!

No comments:

Post a Comment