Why does it seem that lately, in all the books I read, there’s either amazing characterization OR a gripping plot line? I admit, I don’t read ‘literary’ novels, I am very much an escapist reader. But, why does having one seem to sacrifice the other?
The books that have excellent character development, logical psychological history (as in past events and the character’s reactions to those events made sense, psychologically-speaking) and character growth (rather than a complete personality overhaul when they emerge on the other side of the main conflict) have thin, boring and predictable plots.
The books that have intricate plots with twists and turns and legitimate surprises seem to have superficial characters at best.
WHAT IS THE DEAL?
Am I greedy? Why can’t I have both? Am I expecting too much from authors? I mean, I know we all have our strengths and weaknesses but a stop on the way to being published seems to involve having people read your work and point out any errors. Did no one mention that your plot sucks? Or that your characters are two dimensional?
Granted, people these days don’t seem to be up for as much cerebral stimulation as they once were (another rant for another time) but my gawd, if that’s what you’re worried about then use smaller words and shorter sentences! But don’t sacrifice the two things that make a novel worth reading: decent plot and characterization!