?

Log in

 
 
27 July 2012 @ 02:55 pm
READABOUT: what do you like in a story?  
Hi and welcome to ReadAbout, a poll for readers of fiction of any kind.

I realize that, for a lot of these, it all depends on how well it's done - but think about your favorite books, the ones you keep coming back to again and again and again, the type of stories/characters that you look for every time you pick up a book. If there's check boxes, please try to only select two or three options. And if you have any questions, comments, or want to elaborate on any of your answers, please leave a comment!! I would love in-depth reasoning behind any of the choices, or even just spaztic "yes, this!"

Also, if you have friends who read, please post a link in your journal/on any relevant communities.

Poll #1856733 ReadAbout

What primary focus do you enjoy reading about most?

romance/relationship development
52(19.7%)
slice of life/everyday things
25(9.5%)
adventure plot/action
55(20.8%)
fantasy world/setting/society
61(23.1%)
personal growth/character development
71(26.9%)

What makes you keep turning the pages?

suspense- what's going to happen next?
76(29.2%)
character interaction
82(31.5%)
to see more of the world
35(13.5%)
beautiful writing/imagery
48(18.5%)
to see if character x and z get together or not
19(7.3%)

What character traits are you usually drawn to? (ie, That Character that's always your favorite)

relatability/normality
20(4.6%)
secret heart of gold
34(7.8%)
steady support/good friend
23(5.3%)
charisma/flamboyance
34(7.8%)
intelligence/cleverness
85(19.5%)
integrity/true to values/morals
40(9.2%)
gray/dubious morality
47(10.8%)
boneheaded bravery/awesomeness
16(3.7%)
self-confidence
25(5.7%)
shyness/social awkwardness
25(5.7%)
catty/scathing tongue
33(7.6%)
black-hearted
13(3.0%)
selflessness/kindness
21(4.8%)
physically attractive
17(3.9%)
physically unattractive
3(0.7%)

Here's some more! Try to pick only a few that you feel Really Strongly about.

wisdom/common sense
40(11.5%)
self-flagellating/pitying
7(2.0%)
competence/mastery of skills
41(11.7%)
curiosity/willingness to learn
39(11.2%)
open-hearted/loving
10(2.9%)
stone-hearted/closed off/distant
14(4.0%)
physically strong
9(2.6%)
physically weak
4(1.1%)
not entirely sane
43(12.3%)
promiscuity/sexually open
28(8.0%)
blushing virgin/innocent
6(1.7%)
artistic/creative/daydreamer
30(8.6%)
focused/determined
34(9.7%)
courageous/able to overcome fear
38(10.9%)
OTHER: will list in comments
6(1.7%)

If you had to choose, which one of these could save an otherwise terrible book?

the writing style
26(24.1%)
the main characters
39(36.1%)
the side characters
10(9.3%)
the action plot
11(10.2%)
the love plot
5(4.6%)
the concepts
7(6.5%)
the morals
0(0.0%)
the worldbuilding
10(9.3%)

And which would be a deal-breaker, if it's done wrong?

the writing style
46(43.0%)
the main characters
23(21.5%)
the side characters
0(0.0%)
the action plot
5(4.7%)
the love plot
11(10.3%)
the concepts
5(4.7%)
the morals
12(11.2%)
the worldbuilding
5(4.7%)

What's your favorite kind of PRIMARY plot?

a relationship developing (romantic or otherwise)
15(14.0%)
a quest for an object/person/action
27(25.2%)
political maneuvering
12(11.2%)
fulfulling a prophecy/destiny
7(6.5%)
personal growth/enlightenment
24(22.4%)
bad guy(s) doing bad things someone must stop it
15(14.0%)
coincidence/sequence of chance events
7(6.5%)

What's your favorite type of SECONDARY plot?

a relationship developing (romantic or otherwise)
35(32.4%)
a quest for an object/person/action
16(14.8%)
political maneuvering
10(9.3%)
fulfulling a prophecy/destiny
5(4.6%)
personal growth/enlightenment
27(25.0%)
bad guy(s) doing bad things someone must stop it
6(5.6%)
coincidence/sequence of chance events
9(8.3%)
none
0(0.0%)

What drives the best of stories?

the protagonist's motives
47(43.9%)
the antagonist's motives
19(17.8%)
outside motives - prophecy, legacy, etc
12(11.2%)
societal impact
7(6.5%)
moral consequences
12(11.2%)
random chance
10(9.3%)

What 'conquers all'?

love and friendship
48(17.6%)
justice and goodness
16(5.9%)
hard work and patience
27(9.9%)
courage and fortitude
29(10.7%)
knowledge and quick thinking
52(19.1%)
power and strength
10(3.7%)
timing and planning
28(10.3%)
money and status
5(1.8%)
forgiveness and change
36(13.2%)
truth and humility
21(7.7%)

Which issue would concern you MOST if it was badly dealt with?

Same-sex relationships
15(14.3%)
Gender identity
6(5.7%)
Race portrayal
18(17.1%)
Whitewashing
3(2.9%)
Gender portrayal
27(25.7%)
Animal rights
4(3.8%)
Slavery
1(1.0%)
Power exchange relationships
12(11.4%)
Polyamory
2(1.9%)
Ableism
3(2.9%)
Mental health
14(13.3%)

Which issue would concern you LEAST?

Same-sex relationships
8(7.7%)
Gender identity
4(3.8%)
Race portrayal
4(3.8%)
Whitewashing
4(3.8%)
Gender portrayal
1(1.0%)
Animal rights
35(33.7%)
Slavery
6(5.8%)
Power exchange relationships
11(10.6%)
Polyamory
23(22.1%)
Ableism
5(4.8%)
Mental health
3(2.9%)

Are you willing to forgive a lack of research in the name of a good story?

Sure, as long as it's entertaining
6(5.6%)
Sure, but there are one or two things that I just personally wouldn't be able to forgive
12(11.1%)
Only some, little details aren't important but it should at least make sense
34(31.5%)
Only some, little details aren't important but a concerted effort has to be made
28(25.9%)
Not really, inaccurate information takes the enjoyment out
18(16.7%)
Not really, it's unprofessional
5(4.6%)
No way. There's no excuse for a lack of research.
5(4.6%)

And lastly, what's your favorite kind of ending?

a cliffhanger!! AAAHHH!!!! where's the next book?!
4(3.7%)
a solid round-up with a gentle tease for more
54(50.5%)
mind-blowing revelation that changes the whole book
32(29.9%)
and they all lived happily ever after!
10(9.3%)
cut to black/left a mystery
7(6.5%)
...IT WAS ALL A DREAM THE WHOLE TIME.
0(0.0%)
 
 
 
mizstorgemizstorge on August 3rd, 2012 03:00 pm (UTC)
Are you willing to forgive a lack of research in the name of a good story?</i>
This has been the deal-breaker for me many times. For instance, in one Stephen King novel the protagonist picked up a revolver and flicked the safety off. I would expect someone like King to make the effort to find out the crucial information that revolvers don't have safeties. I lost respect for his integrity right there and never picked up another of his books.

Aong the same lines, I expect writers to describe characters accurately. One novel had a character who was presented as a BAMF who was going to mentor the sweet and naive main character so she could bring her sister's killer to justice. I expected a Giles/Buffy sort of relationship though I suspected this guy had a secret agenda of his own. What I got was a manipulative SOB who never once tried to teach her how to take care of herself, continually placed her in dangerous situations and then berated her for her stupidity, leaving her in tears. There was no character or sub-plot develpment that suggested that this abuse wasn't going to continue through the next three books in the series so I put the book in the box for the library sale.

My favorite character tends to be the antagonist who is smart, charismatic, sarcastic and who is revealed to have greater depth and broader understanding of the situation than does the protagonist. If the protagonist falls for this character, so much the better.


Edited at 2012-08-03 03:05 pm (UTC)