How writing style influences book preferences
Posted by Honor A Dawson
What books work for you? Do you like intricate plots, characters that display emotion, lots of dialogue, or do you have a leaning towards description? Knowing your preferred writing style can help you with your reading choices. It may also guide you into another genre or towards another author that you may have otherwise dismissed.
If you’re like me, you will have have bought books that have been a huge let down. I have read books promising a great plot, only to be bogged down with long, laborious descriptions that send me to sleep. On the contrary, I have read books with a very tame storyline, and with characters that have not been so well-developed, yet it was a great read. So how do you choose, when you’re unfamiliar with the author? The answer is in the writing style.
Many years ago, one of the authors I was drawn to was Jodi Picoult. The books have a plot and the characters display emotion. For me, that was important. I enjoy stories that start with a problem that needs to be solved, such as crimes and thrillers, but all to often I have found the characters to be wooden and I have struggled to empathise with them. If I don’t care for the protagonist, or if I do not know what they are really feeling, how can pull for them?
Another author I have enjoyed is Sophie Hannah. Whilst her books are very different to Jodi Picoult’s, they are written with the same aim in mind, i.e. they combine a good plot with a character with emotions. ‘Little Face’ is an example of this. Not only is it a detective novel, written in parts from his/her viewpoint, but it also written from the client’s viewpoint, and shows her very real emotions. For me, this is key to a good read.
Have a think about your preferred writing style, and seek out new authors. You may be surprised. Let me know your thoughts.