What Makes a Book Good – The Story or the Writing?

The following two tabs change content below.
8 Women Dream wants to hear your dream story. Do you have a dream you'd like to share? Do you have a dream success story you'd like to share with our community? Be a Guest Contributor on 8 Women Dream! To read Guest Contributor guidelines click here. +Contributor Stories Contact us only after you've read the guidelines

Latest posts by Contributor Dream Stories (see all)

In my quest to become a published book writer, I often ponder the reasons we read the books that we do.

Have you ever What Makes a Book Good - The Story Or The Writing?started reading a book only to find it wasn’t quite what you thought?  Perhaps the story line didn’t measure up to your expectations or you couldn’t connect to the writing style?

Seven years ago I started reading a book I have not yet finished, but keep reading a bit at a time.

I thought the author was quite pretentious and it annoyed me enough that I couldn’t read a lot at one time.

But the story is good.

I have put this book down for a year or two at a time but I don’t have to start over when I pick it back up.  I remember the story, the characters and the details; all of them.

Just to be clear I do not have a world famous memory. There are days when I don’t think I have a memory at all.

It’s something about this book.

Is it because the story is so good that I can’t help but remember the details?


Is it because it’s written so well that the details are forever ingrained in my memory?

In one interview, James Patterson’s advice to aspiring writers includes “…The detail that you have is really relevant to the story and makes it work better …”

This piece of advice leads me to believe that it’s all in the details.  Is that true?  Does the story not matter as long as there are good details?  (That is my question, James Patterson did Not say that in his interview. )

Dean Koontz advice is “…Read everything you can get your hands on. Keep your mind and heart open to the world. Work hard. Take your work very seriously ……”

This leads me to believe that as long as you work hard you can write a good book. (Again, Mr. Koontz did not say this in the interview).

Buy Keys to Great Writing

After reading a lot of advice from various authors and reading a lot of books on my own, I think the answer is that there is no answer.

It is magic.

Yes, the book has to be written well, but what does that mean exactly?

James Patterson makes a reference to Picasso and Chagall and how people interpret things differently.

While I have not yet had a book published, I believe the details and story are very important,they are the book after all.

But the timing and the audience = magic.

The book has to be marketed to the right audience.

To do that you need a good publisher which you can find in Writer’s Market – recommended by every author I have researched.

Good luck and happy writing!buy The Emperor of Ocean Park [Paperback]

By the way, the book I have been reading is The Emperor of Ocean Park.  I no longer think it’s as ostentatious as I once did suggesting that where you are in your life may have much to do with how you enjoy a book.

I am working hard to make sure the details and story of my book are “good.”

I can only pray the timing is right.

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Amazon says it’s a “complex” thriller so that sent a message to me that there is quite a bit to the plot. It gets good reviews though, so when you finish it in 2019 you will be glad that you did. It’s good to see you here dear. Your writing is really getting crisp and tight. You should applaud yourself for all you’ve done…

  • Kim, the traveler

    At least you’re persistent! How far along are you after 7 years??

    • Dawnda

      I am on page 493 of 654. I am really enjoying it now and know that this time I will finish it.