(Guest Post) 10 Things I Look for in A Good Novel, by Gillian Felix

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As a writer it’s almost like we are trained to read. I personally don’t have a favorite genre, I just read what appeals to me. I’ll even read spiritual and I own a couple of non-fictions. I find that reading outside the genre which I write helps spark my creativity. It might surprise you to know that I don’t own any books in my genre (except the ones that I’ve written). With that said, here are ten things that appeal to me when deciding to give something a read.

  1. A great synopsis. Whether it be funny, sad or dramatic, I usually read the first 4 lines of it and, if my mind don’t start wandering after that, and I make it through the whole thing, I download a sample of the book from Amazon.
  2. I don’t like too much details. I like enough for me to understand what is going on without the piece being to wordy or overly descriptive.
  3. I love strong female and devious male characters. They make the story so very interesting.
  4. I love stories with a strong plot. It shows me that the author put some thought into the work and took the time to develop the storylines and characters.
  5. I don’t like too much graphic sex in a book (unless the book is erotica).
  6. I enjoy twists and turns in a book and also a bit of mystery. I used to love to read Nancy Drew as a child. I also loved Little House on the Prairie.
  7. If it’s a non-fiction it’d better have information that is beneficial or I lose interest. I loved Losing My Virginity by Sir. Richard Branson. It is actually his bio and it was a great read, very motivational and inspirational.
  8. Dysfunctional relationships. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is my favorite novel in that genre. I loved that Heathcliff and Cathy were so in love with each other that their love destroyed them.
  9. I like horror novels, but not horror movies. My favorite novel in that genre is It by Stephen King. I read it as a child and as an adult and it had the same terrifying effect on me. The smell of the sewers still burns the back of my throat and I shudder at some of the scenes in the book.
  10. I think books should take the reader out of their own world and into the world of the characters. That’s a good book for me.

What do you look for in a good book? Let’s compare notes!

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