Thursday, February 28, 2013


Last week I read a very predictable book. About half way through the story I guessed the final twist to the story, and I wondered if I should even keep reading. I did, just in case there would be another twist I hadn't seen coming. 

There wasn't one. 

(Granted, I do think the target readers are younger than I. But still...)

This got me thinking about predictability in books. I am also reading 'Journey to the Center of the Earth'. Much of this book is predictable, too. I mean, I'm assuming they make it to the center of the earth, aren't burned up by lava, find awesome things, and make it back home safely. 

The difference between the two books is character development. 

The characters in 'False Prince' were interesting enough, but I never became familiar with them.  Everything I learned about them was surface level and while the plot was predictable, moment by moment actions and reactions of the characters were not. 

On the other hand, 'Journey to the Center of the Earth' took time developing the characters and what drives them, familiarizing the reader with the nuances of their character (without drowning the reader in them unnecessarily) . I have an idea in my mind of how each character will respond to different circumstances, and I am eager to find out if and how the journey -the plot- affects the characters. 

Is it too much to ask for a plot that has a few unpredictable twists and turns, and also a reasonable amount of  character development? Too often I think we get one at the expense of the other. 

I am on the lookout for a book, any book, that has good character development and an interesting plot. I'm sure there have to be some. Any ideas?

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