Writing a book is a difficult task, and the one the thing many writers get caught up in is this:
what makes a novel great? What are the components of a book that draws people in and gets them to really read the story? Here are the
10 essential characteristics of an interesting book.
Title: A fantastic title is what makes people remember the book, and is a symbol of the books overall message. One of my favorite titles ever is It’s Kind of a Funny Story.
Great Cover: The cover is what draws people in. While this comes in to play later in processing, it is still an important element to consider.
Compelling Characters: The characters in a novel are everything. Without creating interesting, believable characters, readers lose interest within the novel very quickly.
Fantastic Dialogue: Dialogue is a huge part of any novel, and if your characters don’t interact with personality and interest, then your readers won’t care about what they have to say.
An Interesting Struggle: Novels, by definition, have some kind of conflict within them, whether it is internal or external. A great novel requires an interesting struggle. One that is not impossible, but not so easy as to bore the readers.
No Fluff or “Filler Writing”: Many new writers to the game have this particular problem. Readers do not want to listen to parts of the story put in simply to fill in space. Unless it’s important to the world or the overall theme, “filler content” is an amateur mistake to make.
Thought Provoking: A great novel is one that provokes thought, and really leaves you with something you didn’t have before. A novel such as this is The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy which gives you a new perspective to consider many parts of the world around us. It also gives us the answer to life: 42.
Complete and Fulfilling Story: Nothing is worse than a story that leaves you unsatisfied. While it’s a great thing to be left wanting more, when it all comes down to it, readers need to know who did and didn’t get the girl, who the bad guy is, and whether or not the hero returns home.
Room to Grow: Your novel should always have room to grow. A great novel is one that leaves some part of the characters a mystery, or one with a story or ending that is somewhat open to interpretation. While you don’t want to leave plot holes or wide gaps of logic, leaving a little space to make your readers ponder creates a thought provoking experience.
Satisfying Ending:One of my favorite ending methods is when the character ends up losing his or her memory, or his or her ability to change things, and instead, writes a book about it and sends it back to the person that it was written for. Creating a compelling story ending is essential. After, all, novels are a journey, and what people remember most is when they finally arrive at their destination.
There are tons of elements and criteria that make up a “great” novel, but I find that these 10 are really the most essential.