What makes a novel “good” to you?

some thoughts here–

a fully-imagined, created world

characters who become people to me

a plot that seems like life

not wanting the story to end and the simultaneous satisfaction of its inevitable ending




6 thoughts on “What makes a novel “good” to you?

  1. DrH says:

    For me, IMMERSION is a great thing about a novel –the feeling of spending time inside a real-but-fictional world, mingling in the thoughts of characters, indulging in the ups & downs of life. A mediocre book can feel like it takes up space in my head, but with a great book the feeling is more that the story actually expands the space I have for thinking, feeling & perceiving my world.

  2. Brian says:

    A book that makes the reader disregard the realm they exist in is the one that is worth reading. Something that makes the reader not only scan the pages but place themselves in the book. Appealing to emotions is one thing but appealing to the imagination and the creative mind is another all together. If this is achieved then the writing can truly be considered great.

  3. I know it’s good when 1) I start dreaming about it, and 2) I find myself REALLY tempted to skip to the back. That’s how I know for sure that I am hooked.

  4. Lucia says:

    Ah well, were I to give the CAPT answer, it would be “timeless themes that are universal and transcend time.” However, as an inividual reader, I would have to write that a good piece of literature is similar to a good piece of theatre-it must be able to make me forget that I am reading/viewing an authored or performed piece. The characters can only be predictable when it adds to the storyline and the plot cannot be contrived or predicatable unless it makes me feel brilliant as I exclaim happily, “Aha! I knew it!” The syntax and grammar must be impeccable as not to distract me and make me once again wish I were an editor. It needs to be either wonderfully familiar and warm or bone-chillingly foreign and eerie. A good piece of literature is one that I am sad to complete and one that I ponder days (sometimes years) post-reading. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good story as much as I enjoy excellent writing and will ocassionally forgo scrutiny at the onset of an over-the-top romantic vampire love story, but primarily, I am a lover of the art of the craft of authorship. So, I suppose my synopsis would be that good literature has timeless themes that are universal and transcend time. Read on Macduff!

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