Rank Your Reading: Plot, Style and Character

PSC

 

In a recent episode of The Bookrageous Podcast, the group attempted to rank the importance of plot, style and character in the books they read. Obviously, each element plays a critical role in fiction, but most of us do tend to favor one over the others in our reading. The discussion (which begins at roughly 25:30) is quite interesting and definitely worth listening to.

It took about two seconds to pinpoint style as my most important element. I will happily sacrifice plot and characters in order to read well-crafted sentences. I can fall into a great, character-focused or well-plotted novel, but writing will always be my first love. The podcast also had me thinking about recent books that won me over with a specific element, as well as those written with a fantastic combination of all three.

Style

Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky by David Connerley Nahm

Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offil

Character

Want Not by Jonathan Miles

Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood

Plot

The Fever by Megan Abbott

Love Minus Eighty by Will McIntosh

A Delicate Balance

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld

 

What’s most important to you in a book? Do you favor stand-out passages, memorable characters or page-turning plots?