Reply
Wordsmith
Zack_Kullis
Posts: 235
Registered: ‎02-27-2009
0 Kudos

What we like, what we hate

I am interested in hearing what draws us all to sci-fi and/or fantasy, and what are our pet peeves.

 

I don't like reading about a main character that doesn't have any problems, weaknesses, or that never struggles.  If they are perfect, then I have a hard time identifying with them. 

 

I also HATE it when the author has to try to put every one-liner, or every "go ahead and make my day" comment that they have ever seen in a movie. 

 

I really enjoy a good detailed description of characters, and especially if they are not human.  I like being able to close my eyes and see what the author is talking about without having to supplement something better in my imagination.

 

What about the rest of you??

Sic volvere Parcas...
Frequent Contributor
Jon_B
Posts: 1,893
Registered: ‎07-15-2008

Re: What we like, what we hate

[ Edited ]

What I like is a unique, well thought out world that is different from our own in many ways, but which still demonstrates a real understanding of historical forces, patterns of social change, the ways that cultures can overlap or shift slowly or suddenly, the ways that religions and belief systems can form or fall apart or splinter into sects, the ways that symbols are used by groups and cultures and the effect that these symbols can have on a people.

 

What I don't like is fantasy worlds with the generic "medieval Europe but with Elves and Dwarves" setting, clearly lifted from Tolkein or from Dungeons and Dragons or from European mythology, with little thought put into it and used more as a background painting than as a part of the story itself.

 

While I like many of the characters I've encountered in fantasy novels, I don't read fantasy for characters - I've always been attracted to it by the worldbuilding element of the genre more than anything else.  So for me the world has to be very well thought out and be, more or less, a character in the story in and of itself.

Message Edited by Jon_B on 03-19-2009 12:03 PM
________________________________________

Need some help setting up your My B&N profile? Click here!

Looking for a particular book, but can't remember the title or author? Ask about it here!
Inspired Bibliophile
Nelsmom
Posts: 2,628
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: What we like, what we hate

I'm like Jon I like well built worlds but I also like it when they include small suprises or twists in the way things work.  I like my characters to be believable in the feelings  wither they are strengths or weakness but they can't seem phony.

 

What I hate is stories that you can predict what is going to happen after the first page.  Or they just seem to unreal.

 

Toni

Toni L. Chapman
Everyone needs some Tender Loving Care
Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,829
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: What we like, what we hate

Well the first thing that pulls me in is the author, has he/she written other works that I liked.

Next the synopsis does the story and characters sound worth my time.

Lastly the cover, did the artist make a good rendering of what every he/she was trying to portray.

I read fantasy for the story and I want to want to be a part of it when I finish the read. 

What I hate is a novel that reads like a b or c 1960's movie like The Martian's that stole Santa Claus.  I like reading about parallel universes but not when they use descriptions that we on this one can readily identify just by changing the name of an item.

Distinguished Correspondent
Bradinator1
Posts: 241
Registered: ‎10-21-2008
0 Kudos

Re: What we like, what we hate

Character interaction and dialogue, dialogue, dialogue. A good example of good character interaction and dialogue is David Eddings. His characters banter, joke, and talk like I do with my friends. It makes them more real to me. Same for Glen Cook's Garrett PI books.

 

While I liked the books, Terry Brooks' Knight of the Word and into Armegeddon's Children, the dialogue and character interaction are nearly non-existant...so I'm not going to be quick to pick up the next book in the series.

 

Brad

"Stand back everyone, nothing here to see
Just imminent danger, in the middle of it, me
Yes, Captain Hammers here, hair blowing in the breeze
And the day needs my saving expertise" - Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion) from "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
Distinguished Correspondent
marilynpsychic
Posts: 266
Registered: ‎09-20-2008
0 Kudos

Re: What we like, what we hate

I agree with our Distinguished Correspondent.  If the characters aren't interesting, and don't interact interestingly, I can't get drawn into the story.  No matter how beautiful the writing and description, if the characters are too ethereal or always speaking in pithy, faux-wisdom sentences, I lose interest fast.  I like characters that, if I can't exactly identify with them, I thoroughly enjoy "hanging out" with them on the written page.

 

And yes, I know dialogue is tricky.  It's got to advance the story as well as be expressed in keeping with that character.  Nothing's worse than a beautifully crafted world where all the characters are basically interchangeable.  Humor is always good, but I get turned off if it gets so silly it sounds like a comic book.  Or, as someone else noted above, the dialogue consists of every stand-out one-liner from popular TV shows and movies. 

"I'm a writer. I give the truth scope." Chaucer (character) in movie "A Knight's Tale"
Contributor
qwertbook82
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎01-20-2009
0 Kudos

Re: What we like, what we hate

Personally, I hate long, overly detailed description. I hate the magic-solves-everything-and-everyone-lives-happily-ever-after endings. I hate when you are 20 pages into a book, and the author is still setting up the story.

 

I love witty characters, unpredictable plot twists (that aren't unbelievable), and believable characters.

Distinguished Wordsmith
Raven_Lunatic
Posts: 302
Registered: ‎10-13-2008
0 Kudos

Re: What we like, what we hate


Jon_B wrote:

What I like is a unique, well thought out world that is different from our own in many ways, but which still demonstrates a real understanding of historical forces, patterns of social change, the ways that cultures can overlap or shift slowly or suddenly, the ways that religions and belief systems can form or fall apart or splinter into sects, the ways that symbols are used by groups and cultures and the effect that these symbols can have on a people.

 

What I don't like is fantasy worlds with the generic "medieval Europe but with Elves and Dwarves" setting, clearly lifted from Tolkein or from Dungeons and Dragons or from European mythology, with little thought put into it and used more as a background painting than as a part of the story itself.

 

While I like many of the characters I've encountered in fantasy novels, I don't read fantasy for characters - I've always been attracted to it by the worldbuilding element of the genre more than anything else.  So for me the world has to be very well thought out and be, more or less, a character in the story in and of itself.

Message Edited by Jon_B on 03-19-2009 12:03 PM

 


Jon_B wrote:

What I like is a unique, well thought out world that is different from our own in many ways, but which still demonstrates a real understanding of historical forces, patterns of social change, the ways that cultures can overlap or shift slowly or suddenly, the ways that religions and belief systems can form or fall apart or splinter into sects, the ways that symbols are used by groups and cultures and the effect that these symbols can have on a people.

 

What I don't like is fantasy worlds with the generic "medieval Europe but with Elves and Dwarves" setting, clearly lifted from Tolkein or from Dungeons and Dragons or from European mythology, with little thought put into it and used more as a background painting than as a part of the story itself.

 

While I like many of the characters I've encountered in fantasy novels, I don't read fantasy for characters - I've always been attracted to it by the worldbuilding element of the genre more than anything else.  So for me the world has to be very well thought out and be, more or less, a character in the story in and of itself.

Message Edited by Jon_B on 03-19-2009 12:03 PM

 

QFT.
_______________
"Fear not, for our army is strong and courageous."
"Just hope they don't sober up before we get there".
-Bored of the Rings