Wow, I had no idea you guys ran up the posts so quickly! I guess I should have known since this IS the writers thread
Okay, before I go back to my 'writers related topics' I just want to say one short thing about the Book Thief. I got my copy signed a week ago by the author. He is perhaps the single most awesome person I have met in a v. v. long time, he was sweet and funny and when he talked about writing I totally connected. When he spoke about how unpredictable it is and how you want to find out if a storyline isn't working 25 pages in, not 200 pages in (apparently in the first draft of the Book Thief, he wrote 200 pages and then realised it didn't work, at all, so he started fiddling with the narrator). So yes, *squeeee* I have a signed book, sitting right next to me in fact.
Okay, point number 2 that I didn't get to make on the old thread - Aussie's write as the Brit's do - Colour, Favourite, realise (without the z! In fact, all of those 'ise' words without the z!) etc etc. THings like that, and 'Mom" always shock me when I'm reading a book because they go against my teaching.
J.B. - I'm totally with you on the intriguing characters. They have to be someone I can't immediately pin down as a cliche or stereotype, someone who will go against all my expectations, or follow my expectations in a completely unexpected way.
I find curiosity is the best motivator when reading, why else finish the book? I was reading .. oh, some book about Casanova the other day (I've been into historical fiction lately) and the premise was good, but I couldn't connect to the characters because I already knew exactly what would happen, what they would do, and the plot wasn't moving quickly enough. *sighs* I don't often get bored like that in a book.
*laughs* I hate to edit too, actually. Or, I used to. I swear I had an anathema to editing up until a few months ago (when my major work, an 8000 word short story about aaaanything - sometimes you don't realise how hard it is when you don't have inspiration but you're expected to write - and the first draft was aaaabsolutely awful). But now, I'm pretty vigilante about it, if I really care about what's going on in that chapter/story.
So now, love the editing, because I'm pretty paranoid when it comes to spelling/grammatical errors (I was the kid who, when she read a book, used to fix up any mistakes she saw)
Epona - I love strong female characters too, its why I love the books by Tamora Pierce, why I love the Book Thief. And I agree, they have to suck you in, you have to be engrossed by the storyline (which is, I honestly hate to say it because I had such high hopes for the book, I'm still reading Wicked.. just plot alone, I'm afraid.. I love his new take on an old classic but... I don't feel enough for the characters, they're too detached)
but i think characters and their dynamnic relationships and development are key!
- agreed. totally agreed. I sometimes even feel like you can't advance plot without there being a shift in the character...
In a book, I value originality, an emotional connection to the characters, definitely a deep understanding of the characters (Who, as Seraphyn said, have to be realistic/believable). Depending on the book being twisted, I also like ones that retell an old story with new ideas (I.e. Wicked, "The Looking Glass Wars"). But mostly they have to be able to suck me in, and I think that is a result of many different elements of the book, all woven together properly - interesting plot, characters etc.
Ack, I rambled again, sorry!
We're also on iTunes - just search for 'Fire and Ice' or 'Twilight Podcast' :D