As a reader, what do you find best in a novel?

Beta02

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Is it the character development that someone goes through, or the way the protagonist uses his/her wits to come on top of a crises? The romance aspect of the story, or the action-packed scenes? Or perhaps is it the way the author builds up their story to instill a sense of mystery?

Personally, I’m a sucker for the psychological-mystery aspects of a novel. COTE does such a masterful work in building a sense of tension in the story with us trying to figure out just how in the world is the main cast going to get on top when their rivals have their own plans and goals too.

I thought it might be interesting to know what others find best in a novel and why they love it since on that note I could get some juicy novel recommendations too.
 
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ArcadiaBlade

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It mainly depends on what certain reader's like.

You can't expect one author to compile a novel to cater multiple people and think it would work. Basically its trying to divide 2 and one and expect the answer to be zero.

The general idea for readers to like is to find the novel to cater to their taste.

One loves to read a sci-fi story with no fantasy bs and another who likes fantasy without the sci-fi story in it. Do you think people would love the author if he cater to both perspective? No.

Which is why you can't really generalize what reader likes since people have their own likeness to a story and expect anyone to like one thing they aren't well-keen about.

I can't explain much but most readers generally prefer to read a story they can understand first before diving more if they would like it or not.
 
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I really like it when there is good power development in fantasy with proper training arcs and gradual growth.:blob_paint:

But my favorite, I think, is when there is a really nice development in the relations between characters. It can be friendship, love, a mentor-mentee relationship, or anything like that. It's great to read good relation-building instead of something like a time skip and now she's my best friend.:blob_highfive:
 

Stormer_Ils

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I really like it when there is good power development in fantasy with proper training arcs and gradual growth.:blob_paint:

But my favorite, I think, is when there is a really nice development in the relations between characters. It can be friendship, love, a mentor-mentee relationship, or anything like that. It's great to read good relation-building instead of something like a time skip and now she's my best friend.:blob_highfive:
Why I like "breakthrough with a forbidden master" (aside from heavily relating with the mc lol) in a nuthshell
 
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Herz

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First of all, I love stories with nice world-building. They say the devil is in the details, and I do agree with this. I love it when a seemingly small detail later comes into play as an important factor. Or when you experience a 'eureka' moment as the last cog fits perfectly, making the gears turn around. Detailed settings with traps here and there, weaving a complex world; for me, this is the most important thing in a good novel.

Second, comes character and character development. I am a sucker for smart and mostly independent ML and FL. Logical behaviour, with small imperfections and contradictions to liven it up. Inner turmoils and moments of weakness are important too. However, as the base of my favourite characters is a strong mentality, drive and decisiveness, it is important to not stray too further away. Anyway, I'd say that the winning character formula is: constancy and well-paced development. People rarely change overnight, and chaotic mood swings are fine only for mentally unstable or psychotic characters.

I am not a fan of action-packed stories. It is good to have some, but it needs to adhere to logic and be realistic based on the world setting.
The same goes for romance. I like romance, but it really depends on the story and the execution. Having none is way better than poorly done.
 

AliceShiki

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I usually am happy for as long as the characters are well-developed~
 

Szaku

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timing and pacing, when done well, makes me an instant fan of any author's works. doesn't matter what the genre is. doesn't matter how many tropes and cliches are reused. when the story flows well and/or doesn't keep important details hidden way past their relevance.. when the author keeps the chain(s) of events moving steadily from chapter to chapter, im a happy camper.

don't get me wrong, i do get the "ideal" of building anticipation or a sense of mystery but some writers clearly just don't do it very well and think "intentionally dragging out details/plot lines" is somehow the same thing.

im well aware this leans heavily toward subjective opinion, but on the same note im 100% convinced we've all read a story at some point that, even though the writing was pretty good, it bored the living piss out of you for how long it dragged out. you get me. 😏

im also aware that this is a "finely tuned" aspect of writing, so when i start a new novel i never go in expecting good pacing. but as the OP asked, its just what i love to see most in a story.
 

bOnehEad

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i mostly enjoyed a well planned novel, cuz i somehow hate that most authors hesitate uncertainly where the route would lead. stability, insight and most importantly is the 'intent' on every characters and 'clarity' for understanding.


im sorry. as my brain cell rapidly is becoming minuscule, i desperately need some 'comfort' to regenerate my cells
 

ShrimpShady

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I like it when the protagonist is a miserable loser who has to earn every single victory they get, no matter how small.

So yeah basically I'm a big Evangelion fan. I guess Eva isn't a novel, but whatever. It's a lot more gratifying when the protagonist has no random overpowered abilities and has to go through hell and back just to beat an enemy.
 

ForestDweller

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I like it when the protagonist is a miserable loser who has to earn every single victory they get, no matter how small.

So yeah basically I'm a big Evangelion fan. I guess Eva isn't a novel, but whatever. It's a lot more gratifying when the protagonist has no random overpowered abilities and has to go through hell and back just to beat an enemy.

Sounds like the protag of my novel :s_tongue: #shamelessselfpromotion
 

naknuknik

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Suspension of disbelief - A story needs to be believable to even give it a chance.
Readability - if its hard to understand or grating to read the annoyance will overpower any desire to read.On a similar note, understanding whats actually happening in the world is important - describtions should be imaginable.
Worldbuilding - this is not just the what,but how and why as well.Not just what races/groups of people, countries/cities and gods exist.Its the history and culture of said groups of people and theyr interactions with one another.Its is the racial(or group)makeup of regions and their effects.The borders and history of the regions.These things do not exist in isolation - they are all part of one world and should be treated as such.Countries have borders, people interact and everyone has a story.Worldbuildig is far too often reduced to just what is shown.A story is told inside a world.The story only ever shows so much of it,there has to be a world outside of what is shown and told - the world inside the author the entirety of which we wont, and dont need to, see.

These 3 are basic requirements that need to be met.As for preferences I actually like fantasy that feels realistic(doesnt mean you cant make big boom).Time loops can be quite entertaining , how they affect behaviour especially.
 
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JayDirex

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Everything that makes a novel good. HOWEVER

MY FELLOW AUTHORS will agree with me, when a story. (novel, manga, movie, etc)

has that GOD-TIER-LEVEL flow of DIALOG.

The witty kind, that gives insight into a character, while simultaneously providing exposition.

And I'm talking the kind of Dialog that makes my fellow Authors Jealous, and say to themselves: "THIS IS THE LEVEL I NEED TO BE AT!"

At this very moment the anime ODD TAXI reaches that pinnacle of dialog. Also, the Korean movie PARASITE, just-fucking-brilliant-writing.
 

AliceShiki

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Everything that makes a novel good. HOWEVER

MY FELLOW AUTHORS will agree with me, when a story. (novel, manga, movie, etc)

has that GOD-TIER-LEVEL flow of DIALOG.

The witty kind, that gives insight into a character, while simultaneously providing exposition.

And I'm talking the kind of Dialog that makes my fellow Authors Jealous, and say to themselves: "THIS IS THE LEVEL I NEED TO BE AT!"

At this very moment the anime ODD TAXI reaches that pinnacle of dialog. Also, the Korean movie PARASITE, just-fucking-brilliant-writing.
Mmmmmmmmmm... Can't say I ever felt like that while reading dialogue in general.

I dunno, I do enjoy reading dialogue, but rather than being amazed by a story's dialogue, what usually happens is that I read what I've written and wish I had done it better~

So uhn... I don't think there was a single story that made me think "Wow, what amazing dialogue" and it's more like, "I wish my dialogue was as good as the dialogue I see in the stuff I like reading."
 

JayDirex

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Mmmmmmmmmm... Can't say I ever felt like that while reading dialogue in general.

I dunno, I do enjoy reading dialogue, but rather than being amazed by a story's dialogue, what usually happens is that I read what I've written and wish I had done it better~

So uhn... I don't think there was a single story that made me think "Wow, what amazing dialogue" and it's more like, "I wish my dialogue was as good as the dialogue I see in the stuff I like reading."
Hey, different strokes. Also...i think I'm more biased towards the dialog thing as a filmmaker. I guess in novels it probably doesn't play the same way as seeing a damn good actor just deliver lines with wit and poise.

I'm a trained filmmaker with no money, therefore I write novels.
Eh, boring and overrated


Parasite won four awards at the 92nd Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best International Feature Film. It became the first South Korean film to receive Academy Award recognition, as well as the first non-English-language film to win Best Picture.


At the 77th Golden Globe Awards, the film had three nominations, winning Best Foreign Language Film. At the 73rd British Academy Film Awards, the film received four nominations including, Best Film and Best Direction and won for Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Not in the English Language. At the Screen Actors Guild Awards, it became the first non-English language film to win for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

-stfu
 
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K5Rakitan

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Character development often makes or breaks whether I accept a manuscript, and sooooooo many authors fail at character development. Infodumps are not character development, by the way.
 

AliceShiki

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Hey, different strokes. Also...i think I'm more biased towards the dialog thing as a filmmaker. I guess in novels it probably doesn't play the same way as seeing a damn good actor just deliver lines with wit and poise.

I'm a trained filmmaker with no money, therefore I write novels.
Ah, that makes sense, for movies the dialogue definitely becomes a lot more important~

The dialogue is still incredibly important in novels of course, but well... In a medium that you can see the character's thoughts and how they feel about their current situation... Well, there end up quite a few things that are very important~
 
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