What Makes a Book a Good Book

I honestly haven’t done any writing so far this week. I can come up with at least 100 excuses for why not, but it all boils down to I let myself get distracted.

If you want to hear the excuses, I have some good ones:

1) I had to get caught up on house cleaning after being sick for over a week.

2) We just started back to school, so I have to keep up with what we need for the week.

3) I need time to evaluate where my story is going before I start writing again.


There are some good excuses right? But I have gotten off point.

As I have been procrastinating and trying to will myself to get started, I have been thinking. You can find so many blogs, books, pamphlets, etc telling you how to be a writer. You can find so many resources out there telling you how to promote and sell your stories, or what not to do, or even what to do in a book.

Most of these resources come from other writers or publishers. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great resources out there. With all the information you can find though, sometimes you (or I at least) can become distracted. Yes, it is important to know how to break up your paragraphs or how to effectively use dialogue. I think it is equally important to know what makes a good book though.

My question is, what do you think makes a good book? What types of stories do you like to read? What makes your favorite books your favorite?

For me, a good book is one that makes you feel like you are really there, seeing the story unfold. A good book gives you enough detail to really see what is happening around you, but not so much that you are bogged down. I also think a good book tells someone’s story. I like to hear more about the person than just what moves the plot from one scene to another. People’s stories are what really draw me into a book.

I also think some humor is important, even in a non-humorous book. Humor can break into a really dark moment, and if done properly, will not take away from what was happening. Humor can keep a particularly heavy scene from just weighing you down.

As an example of what I think makes a good book, one of my favorites is “Pride & Prejudice”.

As I thought on these things that I like to find in a book, I realized I was failing in some of these things in my own story. I have been so worried about getting enough detail in my story, I have been failing at getting the right kind of details. I guess one good thing about procrastinating is that I got time to do #3 in my list of top excuses. 🙂

So now that I have shared some of my criteria for a good book, What makes a book good for you?


2 thoughts on “What Makes a Book a Good Book

  1. Oh, I love Pride and Prejudice! I have been reading it to my kids before rest time. I would love to write a book, but I never seem to find enough time to sit down and develop the story in my head. I think 5 minutes at a time isn’t quite working out 🙂 Good luck on finding the right details!

    1. Thanks. I usually get up early in the morning to write, before Danger Girl is up and going. I also keep a notebook with me, so if an idea strikes me I can write it down for later use. 5 minute writing may be a little difficult though.

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