What makes you love a novel? Is it the writing? The characters? The atmosphere? The genre? Or all of the above?
As a reader, it depends on a lot of things. Sometimes the writing is excellent and I'm in raptures. Other times the characters are amazing, even if the writing isn't the very best I've ever seen. And sometimes, I just get drawn into a story and I can't really say why.
In terms of my writing, it depends on what type of inspiration strikes. With my standalone Fantasy Romance, All's Fair In Love & Lion, I was into brooding male leads, and fairy-tales. I took the two
and came up with a lion shape shifter and an orphaned English teacher (Sasha loses her parents when she was 15, although in the novel she's much older than that). I wrote it with adult audiences in mind, even though the heat level is more Sweet Romance than hot. Writing first person present tense wasn't a plan of mine, either. I tried writing it third person past tense, but it wouldn't come together. I really had to do what worked for the story.
Book One of my Immortal Dreams Trilogy, Divine Love, was a totally different experience. This one ended up having 18 year olds as the hero and heroine duo of the story and I pulled from my love of Greek Mythology. I also decided to just in a sense, "kick off my shoes, and put my feet up". It was some of the most fun I had while writing. I enjoyed coming up with Jason's arrogant-but-lovable personality, and Laney's seemingly quiet and shy, but actually able to totally kick butt persona. Writing Hades as a humorous gatekeeper of the Underworld, and Cupid & Psyche as cheesy love-birds was so much fun.
Working on Book Two, Astral Love proved a new challenge. I had to write a sequel and I had to do it in a limited amount of time. Notonly that, but I had to leave an opening for Book Three. What draws me to this story is that I took a deeper look at the hero, Jason Magnus. Plus you also find out more about the heroine, Laney Alberts.
When I got to Book Three, Immortal Love, I knew I'd have to "up the ante". As the last book in the Trilogy I wanted the story to endwith a bang. I threw everything I could come up with and imagine at Laney and Jason. I went over descriptions in two places to try and make it as big as I could. I was drawn into the fact that Laney and Jason were now in a place where they were comfortable in general with their circumstances. So I had to make them as uncomfortable as possible. I enjoyed expanding upon their relationship and the world of the Immortals. It was hard to say goodbye to them at the end, but I was happy I had written their story.
I love all my novels and characters for different reasons. Some are easier to write than others, but each one drew me into their world for their own reasons.
The novels I'm currently working on are new stories that I hope my readers will enjoy as much as I enjoy creating them.
So, tell me, as a reader (and/or writer) what draws you into or toward a story?
Have A Tantalizingly Tremendous Thursday!