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Stories – Booking Through Thursday

This week’s Booking Through Thursday question is:

If you’re anything like me, one of your favorite reasons to read is for the story. Not for the character development and interaction. Not because of the descriptive, emotive powers of the writer. Not because of deep, literary meaning hidden beneath layers of metaphor. (Even though those are all good things.) No … it’s because you want to know what happens next?

Or, um, is it just me?

Well, yeah, I guess I read for the stories, to find out what happens next. It’s an interesting thing about humans: we love stories! That’s why we like gossip, right? To know that we’re luckier than other people, or other people are just like us. Are you as interested in the guy/gal who’s doing a really good job at work, or the guy/gal who just got into a car accident?

This is where I think really good writers come into play. Of course, drama always makes a good story. But can a writer make a good story about a ho-hum life? Can the writer make the reader care about a character who doesn’t have a lot of drama, is just a regular joe?

Isn’t one of the saddest things when you don’t  care what happens next in the story? When you put down a book because the story isn’t compelling?

Opinions?

| Tags: , , , 11 comments »

11 Responses to “Stories – Booking Through Thursday”

  1. gautami tripathy

    I truly love reading travelogues. Those don’t have stories, now do they? I love many genres and for different reason.

    Booking through stories

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  2. Sally

    I love a good story. The other stuff just enhances it.

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  3. Christine

    Sadder still, I think, is when you want to know what happens next but the writing is so awful that you just can’t go on…

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  4. Susan B. Evans

    I hate having to put down a book, so usually I plow through even if I’m not interested. A book has to by truly horrifying for me to give up on it, but it happens. I feel cheated by books like that, like I can’t believe I wasted my time with them!

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  5. Jessica

    I can’t walk away from a book. I HAVE to finish it. It’s like a movie that you never get to see the end of. It drives me up the wall!

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  6. Trixie

    For me, I think the book needs to have interesting characters with interesting lives that make a good story. I am pretty fickle and have a short attention span, so I will often put down a book that I find has a less than compelling story.

    And I find that I have to disagree with Gautami on her point about travelogues. I love to read travelogues as well, but part of the intrigue for me is that there is usually a backstory to the points of interest the author is cataloguing. For example, I find particular brands of travelogues to be extremely dry, and I do not prefer those. Others have interesting stories to tell about the places they go, and those are the ones that I actually “read.”

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  7. softdrink

    Yep, it’s all about the story. With a hefty dose of good writing thrown in, of course.

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  8. CB James

    I grant you the plot is important. But I think quite a few people are selling themselves short on this one. If you’ve ever re-read a book then you’ve read for some reason other than knowing what happens next, because you already know.

    I’ve re-read quite a few in my time.

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  9. Jeane

    I just gave up on a book ten minutes ago because the story was so lame! It’s very sad. I have to agree with CB though- the books I go back and read again and again have more to them than just a good storyline. They have beautiful language and poignant messages and hidden insights that I just have to try and find again… but, if the story isn’t good in the first place, I’ll never read enough to find those other things!

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  10. Kim L

    Yes, that is the saddest thing! I bought a book recently that just made me lose interest, so I stopped reading. It was about Robin Hood, but the author didn’t bother to give any new insight into Robin Hood or his motivations or what it would actually be like to live as a wanted man on the run with a group of men. Bleh, he was so boring I gave up the book.

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  11. Melody

    Yep, it’s definitely all about the story, but IMO having engaging characters is equally important too. 😉

    [Reply]

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