|1.||What Makes Good Fiction?||See below|
|What Makes Good Fiction?|
|What comes to mind when you first think of a 'good fiction'?|
There are actually quite a few qualities that separate the good from the bad. One of these is having a proper introduction that hooks the reader and makes him/her want to read more. You can either start at the beginning of the plot and introduce the main characters, like Alexandre Dumas's 'The Count of Monte Cristo', or jump right into the middle and go from there. You can even have the story seem like a 'flashback' - a character remembering what happened in the past. Whatever you do, the introduction should remain engaging and interesting at all times.
Another essential part of any story is its plot. If the plot is unstructured and random, there is a very slim chance that it will be successful. All successful plots have a certain structure: the beginning, when the main characters and setting are introduced, the 'build-up', when something occurs, forcing the characters to take action, the climax, when the storyline reaches its turning point, and finally the resolution, when everything is solved and the characters learn a lesson from what has happened. In addition, the storyline has to be engaging. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's ever-popular Sherlock Holmes series has plots that meet both these requirements. His books follow the structure mentioned above, and have a significant amount of suspense, thus urging the readers to read on and eventually discover the culprit.
Proper grammar and conventions plays a key role, too. If there are too many errors, readers would have a tough time reading the book, and would eventually end up abandoning it. You can, however, make deliberate mistakes in the dialog to give the story more effect, as Mark Twain does in his novel 'The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn'.
There are also the characters and the setting. The characters should be people readers could either identify with or find intriguing. An example is romance novels. The reason why they are popular among teens is because those teens are experiencing almost everything the characters are going through. Jerry Spinelli's 'Stargirl' is another. The main character meets someone who is so strange she makes people wonder about her, triggering the readers to find out why she acts this way.
The protagonist of the story should not be 'all good', and neither should the antagonist be 'all bad'. As Anne Frank described herself as a 'bundle of contradictions' near the end of her diary, you should likewise do the same with your characters. In K. A. Applegate's best-selling series Animorphs, she begins by having the Andalites, the protagonists, spread propaganda about how cruel and vicious the Yeerks (antagonists) are. Later, the Animorphs, a small group of teens who are allied with the Andalites and protecting Earth against the Yeerks, find out that the Andalites are planning to annihilate Earth, destroying both humans and Yeerks alike.
As for the setting, it should be realistic enough to 'paint a picture' and give the readers a better idea of where the characters are. In William Golding's 'Lord of the Flies', he describes the island that the characters are on in such great detail that you could envision it in your mind. One important thing to keep in mind is not to stray too far from the plot to give a description of, for example, the character's room. The setting should be woven in such a way that it does not distract from the story itself.
Finally, every story has to have an ending. Your ending should wrap the story up and give the reader the sense that the story has ended. This is usually where the characters walk away with a lesson learned. When it comes to writing satire and humorous works, this is where you can put the 'punch line' of the piece.
A book that has all of the above characteristics is a successful book and may even go on to become a bestseller. But of course, not all the good writing can be found here. If you like going to book shops and browsing for great reads, the following are some books that have received lots of acclaim from their readers.
'Lord Of The Flies' by William Golding. A group of boys get trapped on a deserted island. This tale tells of how they gradually begin to attack each other as the time goes by. One thing that will strike you in this novel is its wonderful imagery.
'Night' by Elie Wiesel. This is the autobiographical account of a boy who was imprisoned in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. The subject matter in this book is quite difficult as all of it is true.
'Stargirl' by Jerry Spinelli. Though it may seem to be another school story at first, this book teaches a great lesson about conformity and questions whether or not it is important to 'fit in' with the crowd.
'The Last Question' by Isaac Asimov. A new supercomputer is created that controls mankind and seems to know everything. However, when it is asked the question, "Will the universe eventually die?", it is not able to find an answer. The true question is, will it find an answer in time? This book stretches the reader's imagination, making for a truly enjoyable read.
'War Of The Worlds' by H. G. Wells. Martians have come to invade Earth. What will become of the humans in the end? The suspense in this work compels Wells' readers to keep on reading. Also, the vocabulary he uses is astounding.
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