Writing a book is a huge investment. Besides taking a lot of time, you also need to invest money. It takes dedication to produce a good book. That’s why you have to make it stand out. Make sure that it contains all the essential elements. Use the right language. Stick to the rules. Minimize errors in your book through editing. Hire a good editor in Canada to polish your book. Remember, grammatical errors and writing inconsistencies can hurt your book’s credibility. The following are the top 8 elements of a great book.
The 8 elements a great book needs:
1. A creative lot
Make sure your novel has a creative plot. Not having one will quickly lose a reader’s interest.
Take your time to create a unique plot. Make sure it’s as interesting as possible. The storyline is often set by an enthralling moment that turns the main character’s life upside down. Conflict is introduced when an antagonist comes in to stop the protagonist from achieving their main goal.
Your plot doesn’t just need to be unique, though. It also has to be meaningful. That means having realistic themes. Otherwise, your story might turn into an irritating project that you don’t finish or that you do publish but infuriates readers.
Keep your descriptions short and realistic. They shouldn’t be incidental at all. Every description has to be there for a reason, such as moving the plot forward or establishing a character’s motivation.
2. Characters who readers connect with
Choose a powerful protagonist with a worthy goal. Ensure that their goal is powerful enough to sustain a long novel. Most people enjoy reading about strong characters who’ve something meaningful to fight for.
Focus on your main characters. Develop them in a way that keeps the reader hooked. Let your readers feel connected to the protagonist and antagonist. If the readers don’t connect with the characters, they might stop reading your book.
Give your audience good reasons to read the story. Make them buy into your story goals. Pick the right character names.
As you write, think about the characters objectively. Make sure their names and emotions suit them.
3. A unique writing style
Choose a distinctive writing style. Keep it interesting and engaging, from start to finish (see #7 and #8 below).
Even if your grammar isn’t perfect, your writing style will still stand out. But that doesn’t mean ignoring your sentence structure and punctuation.
If possible, avoid using passive voice, as it can drag down the story. Use the right tone and make sure your story is readable.
4. A consistent viewpoint
Decide on the viewpoint, and stick with it. There are three options to consider: first, second, and third person. Most novels are usually written in the third-person point of view (objective, limited, or omniscient). On the other hand, memoirs feature the first-person viewpoint.
Choose appropriate characters. Your story should be interesting and consistent. As the plot moves along, give your characters room to grow and change. As you do so, find a way to connect with readers, all while being a reliable narrator. All of which means being purposeful in your writing.
More elements a great book must have:
5. Realistic dialogue
Use enough dialogue. Dedicate a good chunk of your book to the feature characters communicating with one another. Doing so will advance the plot if you do it well. All while deepening the ties between the characters, revealing character attributes, and adding tension.
A good dialogue is both realistic and intriguing. Of course, all of this only works with a good plot.
Give your characters the right vocabulary and tone to suit their personalities. Above all, their conversation must serve a purpose.
Don’t forget to include body language in the dialogue scenes. Body language can reveal feelings and help readers visualize the scene.
Finally, part of getting the scene right is using appropriate dialogue tags. For example: “Are you free tonight,” asked Julie.
6. A consistent pace
Consider your pace. Does it suit your story?
As a writer, know how to mix up scenes and sequels. A sequel refers to a character’s reaction after a scene. Balancing the two will help you create a great story.
When deciding on the pace, consider the genre. If you’re writing a literary novel, for instance, you’ll want to include more sequels. Read your story aloud to determine if the pace is too fast or slow.
Don’t try to ignore your book’s pace. Keep it consistent from the beginning to the end. A slight drift from your initial pace can distract readers, who might quickly lose track of important events. So, the pace matters a lot!
7. A strong opening
Take your time to create a good beginning to the novel. How you start the story is extremely important.
Memorable first lines combine enough action with detailed descriptions. If possible, add and incorporate some dialogue. Make sure the hook grabs the reader’s attention.
Create an exciting moment right away to keep readers invested in the story. Ensure there’s something that makes your readers care.
8. A terrific ending
Just as important as a strong opening is a terrific ending. We’ve all had that book that we loved reading, and that let us down in the closing chapter. At least I know I’ve had that experience.
Make sure the ending satisfies the reader’s expectations. They invested time in reading the story and want to have a satisfying ending.
Avoid contrived twists. And make sure the parts of the book before it supports the ending, as it must be plausible. Look for a way to conclude without causing any contractions.
Key takeaway to make a book great
When it comes to writing, making mistakes is common. But you need to make sure that the final copy is polished.
Simple mistakes can put off readers. I know it has for me.
Once your first draft is done (congrats!), it’s time to invest in editing. Start by self-editing your copy and then handing it over to a professional for further scrutiny. Look at your ideas critically. Make sure they’re sensible and relevant to your target audience.
However, it’s imperative to note that you aren’t striving for perfection. But you do want to make sure your book is readable and comprehensible. Choose a qualified proofreader to work with to achieve this goal.
The bottom line: 8 elements of a great book
Great writers set the pace for their readers. They force different characters to change. Best-selling authors often throw surprises and dangerous twists into their fictional stories too.
If you decide to write a book, make sure it’s powerful and informative. Connect with your readers. Choose the best writing style and tone. Set the right pace. Includedialogue well. Create compelling beginnings and endings. All together, this is what makes a book great!
8 thoughts on “8 elements of a great book”
Hi Christy, these are all good points for books. I think we all aim to achieve all of these points, it is not easy to do though.
There’s a lot to think about!
All good points Christy. Too often, writers forget that it is important to have at least one character that we are rooting for!
Yes! I love when I can’t put a good book down :)
And when you know you are at the end so you slow way down to savor every word!!!
Important pointers! Thanks for sharing, Christy. Hugs 💕🙂
Thanks, Harmony! 🥰