Good Book? Bad Book?

I just finished reading two books. I will not name names or authors. I will say that one book was better than the other, at least for me.

The book I enjoyed I really enjoyed. After finishing the book I told myself ‘This is exactly how I want to write.’

I took a moment and thought just generally why I liked one book and why I didn’t like the other.

Below are some thoughts. Quick brainstorm sessions like this, I hope, will get me to understand what it is I enjoy about some books and not others.


Photo from Instagram: pollyandbooks

Most importantly, I hope that these exercises will help lead me to write good books.

Think about what books you’ve read that you told yourself I wish I had written that.

What is it about those books that stand out to you? Have you been able to apply any of those techniques in your writing? If so, how?

Book I didn’t like. Book I liked.
The characters were flat. The characters were well-developed. I cared about them.
The writing was just ok. The writing kept me engaged, and was literary.
The plot was confusing as were the protagonist’s motives. The plot and twists were tight.
There were ‘holes’ in the story. Not all items were explained. All items were explained and revealed. Everything that was mentioned moved the story forward.
Ending was immemorable. Ending memorable.
Bad use of flashbacks. Good use of flashbacks.
Third person – only protagonist. Third person close – multi characters.
Didn’t always understand protagonist’s motives. Protagonist’s motives were clear.
Didn’t empathize/understand antagonist’s motives. Empathisized/understood the antagonist’s motives.
Setting not clear, didn’t feel like I was there. Setting was rich. I was there.
Senses weren’t used well; sight, sense, smells, etc. Senses were used well; sight, sense, smells, etc.
Didn’t kill your darlings. Killed your darlings.