But what kept me hooked was the style of the narrative: the story moved from person to person, where after the main character meets a person, the story then starts tracking the new entrant’s life: past and current.
The descriptions in the book were amazing. The writer’s eye for detail was mindblowing. I am always fascinated with writing that encapsulates sensory details.
The main character’s run of the mill problems :common occurrences of old age were incorporated seamlessly into the story; at no point did I feel that the author was bombarding me with information. Infact, I felt that I had become the old man’s confidante and he was confiding his problems, little by little, to me.
That’s one thing I love about descriptions which gently creep in on the reader taking him or her by surprise. It’s something I am trying to work at. I found both : the story and the story telling technique unique, though the main character did not evoke any emotion from me: I didn’t love him, nor did I hate him, and neither did I sympathize with him, I just loved his story and had to read on, to know what happened next.
This got me thinking that I have become partial to the story, more than the main character. I feel a good story will make even a weak character look appealing, the opposite is true of a not so good story, which will make the character look spineless.
To be able to create a world where a strong character is captured in a powerful story is what writing is all about. I feel stories make characters, and characters just enhance and take the story forward. I just go by my feeling when I have read a book. If I have liked a story, then even a not so great character gets my vote, but if the story has failed to strike a chord with me, then, however great the character, I wouldn’t root for it.
What do you look for when you read? Do you tilt towards the story, or do you lean towards strong characters. What do you think is important; the main character or the story? What would you concentrate on while writing your own stories: Character or Plot. Please share with us.