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Author Topic: What is your favorite thing about your favorite story?  (Read 4600 times)

Offline Autumn2May

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What is your favorite thing about your favorite story?
« on: January 28, 2011, 09:58:48 PM »
I don't want to post my response here, because this is sort of research for my writing. :)  But why do you keep reading that one book over and over again?  What keeps drawing you back?  What is special about it that all the other books you own lack?  Is it the characters?  The plot?  The writing style?  I'd love your opinions on the subject as you all are the best read group of people I know. :)

Offline Zefiris

Re: What is your favorite thing about your favorite story?
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2011, 10:11:11 PM »
Characters !!!

A story can be really good but if I dislike the characters I usually find myself losing interest. After all, I don't wanna read about some dude who I don't like. Wheras a bad/basic/bland story can easily be saved by having a cool cast of characters.

I also enjoy stories which are different. One of my favourite book series is Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve. It's got such a fun, unique setting and premise that I've read the series 3 times now. It was actually the series of books which inspired me to start writing my debut novel Steam Queen.

Bryndled1

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Re: What is your favorite thing about your favorite story?
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2011, 10:19:26 PM »
in short Grace, Serendipity, A wry sense of humor, with good movement and flair for the dramatic!

Offline Noona

Re: What is your favorite thing about your favorite story?
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2011, 10:21:28 PM »
Characters for me but also the world they are in, sometimes I will re-read my favourites just to read about and visualise the beautiful and different places that the author has created.

Offline Funky Scarecrow

Re: What is your favorite thing about your favorite story?
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2011, 10:34:24 PM »
I have three books which get reread on a reasonably regular basis (every few years), each for slightly different reasons.

Conagher by Louis L'Amour, which keeps me going back to it so I can get under the skin of what makes it work. It's a slow burning western about the very tentative romance which blossoms between a worn out old cow hand, little more than a hobo who owns a horse in truth, and a lonely widow. There's a sub-plot about a feud and a gun battle near the end, but these feel more tacked on to appease L'Amour's core readership at the time it was written. It falls into the cracks between what it wants to be and what it's expected to be. The book shouldn't work, but it does and I want to know how and why.

Ravenheart, by David Gemmell. Another book which pretends to be one thing, but is really something else entirely. It's nominally an adventure about a brewing revolution in an alternate version of Scotland; under the surface, though, is a story about love, redemption, loss and self sacrifice and it always makes me cry. That's probably why I go back to it. For the gentle portrayal of people letting their pride get in the way of their own happiness and how they redeem themselves for those mistakes. At heart, I'm a bit of a big softy.

The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, because it's a rip-roaring adventure story that barrels along at a tremendous pace, filled with action, adventure, intrigue and big honking dinosaurs chasing people. I can be all sensitive and emotional, but sometimes I just want me some dinosaurs, dammit! I'll also admit that it was the first adventure novel I ever read, when I was about nine years old I think, and it has the literary equivalence of comfort food for me. When I'm miserable, ill or both, I'll dig out the Doyle and go back to the Plateau. ;)
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Offline Dan D Jones

Re: What is your favorite thing about your favorite story?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2011, 02:32:53 AM »
I reread Dune every few years.  The sheer depth of the story is awe-inspiring.  I've read it over a dozen times and every time I read it I see something I missed previously.

Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun is similar.  I haven't read it as many times as I have Dune, in part because it's a longer work and in part because I discovered it later in life.  (I first read Dune in my mid-teens, mumble years ago.)

McKillip's The Riddlemaster of Hed I've read almost as often as I've read Dune.  I can't quite put my finger on what it is about that tale but the characters and plot just resonate with me. 

Offline Overlord

Re: What is your favorite thing about your favorite story?
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2011, 05:46:00 AM »
Characters for me too. I mean... when people ask about my favourite book, I will tell them 'The Night Angel Trilogy'. I will rave about characters though, not really the story - Kyler Stern and Durzo Blint... it's like that for most novels.

There are some that just have a fantastic story, but usually the characters are what make the story. Look at how everyone reacted to Mistborn here... they didn't like Vin so wrote of Mistborn or at least marked it down to a huge extent. Everyone commented that the story and the magic system and the writing style was fantastic, but we just couldn't get over Vin. lol.
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Offline frankiehunter

Re: What is your favorite thing about your favorite story?
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2011, 07:41:20 AM »
I don't often re-read a book, sometimes when a book was really good, I re-read it in the original translation.

Normally I do that when the story, the characters and the world was fascinating.
For me its that mixture of all this pieces which makes me re-read a book again.
Sometimes I also like the atmosphere (f.e. watership down from richard adams) or the feelings I have for the characters (hope you know what i mean).
And sometimes I'm just obsessed of the author or the story and re-read it again an again. But as i said, that happens not very often.
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Offline missoularedhead

Re: What is your favorite thing about your favorite story?
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2011, 08:22:12 AM »
Quite honestly, what draws me back to books is when authors DON'T give me every detail, or everything tied up with a bow.  I like it when there's little foreshadowing…when something happens out of the blue and I have to go back and read it again to pick up on the very tiny details…

Those are the books I re-read.
"Well behaved women rarely make history" ~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Offline ChristinaJL

Re: What is your favorite thing about your favorite story?
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2011, 09:02:39 AM »
The whole package really, but most of all the characters and the plot.   ;D  The only books I've re-read are the LotR series and Harry Potter.  LotR just because and for some reason I just love the series and read it once every couple of years or so.  The HP books I read as they came out, so once they were all out, I re-read the lot in a month or two as I'd forget bits by the time the next book came out. 

Offline Overlord

Re: What is your favorite thing about your favorite story?
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2011, 06:14:27 AM »
My favourite thing about the painted man (probably my favourite 'story') is the fact that he is getting deeper and deeper into things constantly and you don't know how deep things are going to go. Hard to say more without spoilers :P
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AmyRoseDavis

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Re: What is your favorite thing about your favorite story?
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2011, 06:33:55 AM »
Characters, always. And closely related--really good dialogue. I love well-drawn people who are human(ish) in their behavior--not too clean, not too perfect, with flaws and issues that make them interesting. And good dialogue is a must. That's one of the best things about Eddings and Martin, I think--they are really good at dialogue.

When I write, I always start from characters. Plot is great, setting is interesting, but the characters have to be real and organic. I think the authors I enjoy the most are the ones who let the plot flow naturally from the characters. And honestly, I'm willng to suspend my disbelief in a big way about a lot of other things as long as the characters are good.

Amy

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Re: What is your favorite thing about your favorite story?
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2016, 06:33:09 AM »
Same Characters and a good twist (oh my god how is she going to get out of this and I didn't see that coming)
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Offline Aprella

Re: What is your favorite thing about your favorite story?
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2016, 06:49:04 AM »
I reread books because of how they made me feel when I first read them. Because I love the characters.
To give an example:
I grew up with Harry Potter, and I have so many memories tied to those books. I love those books so much, even though they are perhaps not the greatest books around. I just enjoy being able to revisit my childhood, to relive that story.
Eragon and The Lord of the Rings have introduced me to fantasy. Because of that, they have a special place in my heart.

Other books, because I love the characters. I don't reread books as often as I want to, because there's loads and loads of unread books on my shelves.

Offline Jake Baelish

Re: What is your favorite thing about your favorite story?
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2016, 11:13:56 AM »
Same as the rest, characters.

My favourite series is Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower' series. It is pretty random at times plot wise and imho disintegrates into a mess of too many ideas and lost vision in the last two books. Regardless, I could read about Eddie, Jake and Susannah all day long.

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