Thursday, September 30, 2010

Blog Chain - What Do You Remember?



This round, the fabulous Shannon hit us with a great question:

Imagine this: when you're gone, readers will remember your writing most for just one of these things: your characters, your plots, your settings, or your style. Which one (only one!) would you prefer over the rest? Why?

I read this question and thought "heck, if people just read me, I'm thrilled" :D And if they remembered me for any of the above, then every second of every minute I spent writing would be worth it.

In order to answer this question, I thought back over the authors I love and what it is about their stories that stick with me. And it's the characters. The settings are in there in some cases (Diana Gabaldon created AMAZING settings in her Outlander series...I can close my eyes even years later and still see every setting in her books. Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games and Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth series are also both series where the settings really stuck with me.)

But mostly...it's the characters, and as Christine said, their relationships with each other. Jaime and Claire in the Outlander series, Trent and Jocelyn in The Braeswood Tapestry (one of my all time fave historical romances), the characters in Victoria Holt's gothic romances, Katniss, Min (my character :D ), and yes, even Bella, Edward and Jacob. Those characters are who I think about long after I've closed the book. They are what make me feel a little depressed when I've finished a good book. I miss them. I want to know what happens to them AFTER the story.

And that is what I'd love for people to take away from my stories. I'd love for them to be thinking about Min long after they've left her story behind. I'd love for them to wonder about Kesi and Ronan, think back to Cilla and Brynne and Lucy and daydream new stories for them. I want to create characters that my readers can't forget :)

What about you? What do you want people to remember about your writing?

Don't forget to go back and see what Laura wants you to remember and stop by Shaun's to read his response tomorrow :D

16 comments:

Stephanie McGee said...

I'm the same way. It's always characters. Even in a milieu focused work like LOTR. And that's what I'd want my readers to take away from my books more than anything.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I feel the same way. It's the characters who keep me writing.

Christine Fonseca said...

Fabulous answer Michelle. :D

Matthew Rush said...

Well for me character is certainly important, in fact compelling characters I can connect with right away are definitely the first thing that draws me into a story.

But I have to admit, if I haven't read a book for years, and for the ones that stick in my memory the most? It's the style that makes the biggest difference. The writing. The voice. The way the story is told.

Cormac McCarthy, JRR Tolkien, F. Scott Fitzgerald, J.D. Salinger. For each of these writers and their novels it's the style that has stayed with me for this long.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

My characters, as they are what drives the story.

Misha said...

Well said.

:-)

Tessa Quin said...

I agree. It's the characters 90% of the time. But I'm a plot person, so I do enjoy unique plots too.

My WIP is plot-based. Seriously heavily plotted. I need to work on the main character more to make her memorable. I believe the other characters are good enough to be remembered. Why do I have such a hard time making a memorable main character? She's just so boring.

Shaun Hutchinson said...

Setting can be a character too. The Fiery Pits of Mordor and Hogwarts castle were both just as much alive as the people in the books.

Conda V. Douglas said...

Characters, definitely! Those are what I remember from my most beloved reads.

Carolyn V. said...

I have to agree. I think a good character that I think about even after the book is read is the best kind to have! I just hope I can do it! *fingers crossed*

Melissa said...

I agree. I want people to remember my characters, their relationships. I want people to feel like they know them, to want to remember them.

Eric said...

You've said it so much better. Our readers taking away something good (like memories of awesome characters) from our writing is what makes it all worthwhile. And yes, that's what I'd like to be remembered for too. Great post!

nomadshan said...

"I'd love for them to wonder about Kesi and Ronan, think back to Cilla and Brynne and Lucy and daydream new stories for them."

So you're open to fan fiction? :D

lbdiamond said...

I totally agree.

I loved the first line that you'd be happy someone remembered your writing--LOL, I feel the same way. ;)

Cole Gibsen said...

Okay, you totally stole my answer! lol

Margie Gelbwasser said...

I love how your phrased your answer!