Today a fellow Aussie, Tahlia Newland, is here with a guest post. She writes young adult/adult urban fantasy with a touch or more of romance and a focus on challenging readers’ perception of reality. A Matter of Perception, her anthology of urban fantasy & magical realism stories, is available on ebook. ‘Realm Hunter,’ a Diamond Peak novella, will be released in December. I have an ebook copy of her short paranormal romance, ‘The Drorgon Slayer’s Choice’, to give away. Just leave a note in the comments if you are interested and I'll announce the winner on Thursday.
Find almost any book on Goodreads and have a look at the reviews and you’ll see that not everyone agrees on what makes a good book, but regardless of our personal preferences, a truly good book will have the following elements.
- Dramatic tension – two or more of the following:
- Tension in relationships
- A task to complete or not
- Three-dimensional believable characters.
- A well-paced, unpredictable plot with a satisfying ending.
- A vivid setting
- In fantasy - a world that makes sense within the parameters of that world.
- The awesome ones will also be moving, inspiring or thought-provoking.
- Good writing
A publisher friend of mine said something like - Beautiful writing is when every word is the right word, in its right place and there for a reason. There is nothing extraneous. The words flow so smoothly that the reader is transported beyond the words. They even forget they are reading. So if any of the words pull you out of the story, it’s likely to not be very well written.
Things that good books don’t have are:
- Boring bits.
- Scenes, plots and descriptions that go on too long or wander without purpose
- Plot holes
- Characters acting out of character
- Unrealistic dialogue
- Formula or predictable plot – acceptable to some degree in romance.
- Unpronounceable names
- A convoluted plot
- Language written in a strong dialect
- Heroes and heroines that do really stupid things or talk about their clothes, hair or how sexy their boyfriend is all the time.
- A world that is so dark and miserable that it’s painful to read about
- Cliffhanger endings
- Plot holes
- Poor writing
What kind of books do you like? Can you separate your personal taste from your evaluation of a book?
About 'A Matter of Perception'
Do you see what I see? Take a bunch of supernatural beings, a battle of magical light, a mysterious hole in the pavement, a dream of a future past and a pair of rose-coloured glasses, mix them with a little romance and a smidgen of philosophy and you might be left wondering if it isn’t all just a matter of perception. This thought-provoking collection of urban fantasy and magical realism stories includes ‘The Drorgon Slayer’s Choice’ and ‘The Boneyard’, a semi finalist in the Aussiecon 4 Make Ready fantasy/scfi competition of 2010.
About 'The Drorgon Slayer’s Choice'
Julia witnesses a dramatic battle between what should be invisible aliens and the gods that have come to earth to slay them. James, one of the gods, offers her the chance of a relationship, but the commander of the Drorgon Slayers plans to eradicate her memory unless she can convince him that she will let James leave the earth when their team has completed their mission.
Author links - if you read Tahlia’s books could you please help her out by posting a short review on Goodreads and Amazon. Thank you.