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?
I think the story is what compels me to pick up the book in the first place, but if the other elements aren’t there I question the worth of the story, and whther I will finish reading it. If the other stuff isn’t there it’s like having a delicious pie shell or pastry crust and the filling sucks. Not very good, is it?
Characters and their development usually go hand in hand with whether I can actually finish a book, and will have a major influence on my final thoughts on a book. The only two books that I have failed to finish this year had characters that I didn’t feel anything for one way or the other, so much so that I couldn’t even finish for the story to see what happened to them; and I started reading them thinking that the concepts were interesting. I just finished reading The Lost Daughter by Elena Ferrante . The story was not the most compelling story in the world (a woman goes to the beach for three weeks on vacation), but I finished reading it because the character was interesting, constantly surprising, and even though I didn’t like her, she was fascinating.