I have read many not so great books only because I found the characters worthy of following. Unfortunately these characters were caught in a not so great story. Many other books I have read because I liked the way the plot twists kept me on tenterhooks, though I disliked the language and the writing style was ordinary.
For a book to make the cut, many elements must fall into place. The ones that instantly come to mind, I have listed below.
1. A Strong Protagonist: who beckons the reader into his/her story and makes them follow him/her page after page. A protagonist who becomes a literary friend, one we are eager to know more about.
2. A Powerful Antagonist: who evokes immense dislike from the readers. To see the antagonist fall and lose, readers root for the protagonist's victory and get glued to the pages.
3. A Unique, Original, and Amazing Setting that has the readers eager to know more. Settings take time to create, but they are well worth the effort.
4. An Engrossing Conflict that sucks the readers in its grip.
5. Unexpected Twists and Turns of the Story: keeps the readers engrossed.
6. A Generous Sprinkling of Romance: brings a smile on the readers’ faces and makes their hearts flutter.
7. Heart Tugging Emotions: very crucial for the emotional connect with the readers.
8. Rounded, Peripheral Characters : they help in pushing the story forward.
9. Atleast two Strong Subplots that Intersect the Main Plot: this can involve the peripheral characters and is extremely crucial to break the monotony if the main plot slackens.
10. A Gripping Plot: packed with racy scenes that add tension and make it a page turner.
11. Awesome Writing Style: full of vivid and unusual descriptions.
12. Wonderful Dialogues or as I prefer to call them Conversation Pieces that are remembered long after the book has been put down.
13. A Great Resolution ; preferably a Happily Ever After.
Do you think there are other elements that I have overlooked? Is there any other element that is crucial? Please tell us, not only are we keen to hear about it, we can also add it into our next manuscript.