That is a question I have a really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, (do you think I’ve emphasized this enough) really hard time with. I have a bunch of authors I love. Some of them have even earned a Preorder space in my cart on Amazon. Others have risen to a ‘buy the book without even reading the blurb’ achievement award. But to say I only have one favorite author is so impossible right now.
Seriously. I can list off a few that I love beyond belief. These are the authors I adore reading and trust to entertain me no matter what. Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, Chloe Neill, Jana Oliver, Jenna Black, Gena Showalter, Richelle Mead, Rachel Vincent, Stacia Kane, Karen Chance. Stacey Jay, Katie MacAlister, MaryJanice Davidson, Kalayna Price, Christine Henry, Jenn Bennett, Allison Pang, Diana Rowland, Molly Harper, Jeaniene Frost, Michelle Rowen, Kerri Arthur, Michelle Bardsley, Veronica Wolff and Rachel Hawkins just to name a few. Do you see now why my husband says I “punish” my bookshelves? LOL.
I’ve read Club Dead by Charlaine Harris at least 5 times. It’s my favorite of the Sookie series for so many reasons. I’ve read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte three times. Blacklisted and Awaken Me Darkly by Gena Showalter two times a piece. I’ve read Black Wings by Christine Henry more than once, and the one thing these books/authors have in common is their ability to keep an interesting pace (and by that I mean a pace that doesn’t have me skimming half the book to get to something attention worthy) while infusing action, romance and plot development into the mix.
I’d say these authors have the balancing act down pat, but I don’t like that word ‘balance’ when it comes to writing; and I’ll tell you why. Balance is restrictive. Plot development should never be balanced. If you ask a question in chapter one, don’t answer it in chapter two unless it leads to another question.
If you write that way, all the mystery is gone. Action that is balanced (the good guy wins a round, the bad guy wins the next round) is okay, but not if the scene is longer than a page or two. Readers want the unexpected. We crave that ‘oh my Gosh!’ moment and balance sort of robs us of that. Now, I’m not saying your novel should have a Weeble Wobble feel to it.
You do need to tie up plot threads and bring conclusion to your protagonist’s problem. Action has to end. You cannot have a great book that is nonstop action or a set of books that never resolves the protagonist’s problem. People might read these books, sure, but they won’t love them, and I promise you they will complain about them (and you, the author) in whatever forum they can find. Why?
They’ll do this because though they were entertained by your book they were also robbed of the things that make a novel fundamentally successful. The whole package. The authors above are what I consider ‘whole package’ authors. I have no idea if all this rambling has actually answered your question, but, at the very least, my answer was about as unbalanced as unbalanced can be, and hopefully that fact made reading all of this…fun.
Jennifer Starks has been writing since the tender, but still wise beyond her years, age of eight. She gets giddy at the thought of visiting a bookstore, loves that good ole Library smell, is most at home on the couch reading or at her desk writing. She adores her children (though they make it entirely difficult to keep any kind of writing schedule) and is humbled beyond belief to have a mother who fostered her love of the arts and a husband who supports the lifestyle even when it means listening to her type at 5 AM. Messy Death will be Jennifer’s debut novel. Updates on its progress can be found at:
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