1. kingzilla
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    kingzilla Senior Member

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    Writing the "perfect" book

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by kingzilla, Jul 11, 2012.

    While it is literally impossible to write a perfect book in the minds of all, you can write the perfect book for yourself at the time you write it (because people change what they like, your views of your work might change).

    So what is the perfect book for you?

    For me, it has to portray a sense of conflict in the mind of the MC as well as in the outside world. The MC can't be at peace because the only way he can fix one of his problem is making the other permanent. Yet, the MC finds a way to maybe not fix both problems, but put them to rest... Move on so to speak.
     
  2. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Well for me I need a story of growth. I need something that builds a legacy: a hero and a villain, a game of "chess", an epic battle scene [of strength or cunning], and regardless of the outcome, the winner only getting a part of what they wanted--while growing still in the end. If the villain wins, he or she may have lost everything they were fighting for or discovered the truth of their madness, while if the hero wins he or she grows to a state of maturity but loses what the fought the hardest for or even their own identity and morality. Altogether I need a story that just say "wow, this hero really just saved the world" and makes me feel just as tired or relieved as they are :)
     
  3. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    But beyond that, moral themes and esoteric ideas definitely enhance the value of a book as well :)
     
  4. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    IDK if I have a "perfect" book for me. But I suppose the closest would come to having my characters come through their conflict and I feel that it the journey through it was worth it for them and for me. (and that it wasn't "just another story.")
     
  5. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know what a perfect book would be. I also can't answer what my favorite book is -- just as I can answer very few questions that begin with "what is your favorite..." My answer almost always begins with "Well, I can't name one favorite, but some that I like a whole lot are..."

    I like books that delve deeply or cause me to think about the human experience. I like books that teach me something I didn't know, or give me a real sense of a historical time period or particular culture. I like books that implicitly make me wonder what I would do in a situation similar to that of the main character or person the book is about, or how I would react in that time period and place. I like books where someone grapples with figuring out how he feels and reflects on his world view. I love it when I come across a sentence that makes me say, "Wow -- how true!"

    What I despise are shallow treatments of major life events (i.e. especially books that deal with the death or loss of a loved one and the MC's essential reaction is along the lines of "This really sucks for me. It would have been better if things had not happened this way."
    I hate books that are unrealistic (and I don't mean fantasy or sci fi -- those can be realistic given the different worlds that are set for the characters). I mean where relationships suddenly happen out of the blue with no real feel for why they have developed, when major events happen in such a manner that is so disconnected from the way they would happen in the real world that the only explanation would be that the entire story could only have existed in some sort of alternate universe, and that is not the intent of the story. (I mean some sort of interaction with the health care system, the legal system, the political system, etc. -- if someone writes a story involving some sort of incident where, for example, someone is prosecuted for a crime, the author should know how the court system works and know that there are different civil and criminal remedies for the same act, and that judges don't respond well to things like public rallies in their courtrooms.)

    In the end, I like a book that sticks with me for years. I like a book that makes me think. I like a book that educates me somehow and makes me see things in ways I hadn't previously. Since there are many ways a book might do this, I can't say that any one way is perfect. So in a very long-winded way, I guess I'm saying I can't answer the question.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the 'perfect' book for me would be any book that people want to read and would recommend to others...
     
  7. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    where the mind is without fear...
    A book I couldn't stop turning the pages!
     
  8. Mark_Archibald
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    Mark_Archibald Active Member

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    Somebody told me

    "You're a legend in your own mind."

    And he was right. My writing is unpublished, and has a tiny audience.

    That's when I realized, if you sit down and try to write the greatest book of all time, or try to write a book that sells a billion copies, those dreams will never come true. If you try too hard than your wheels spin, and you don't go anywhere.

    And now I don't try so hard.
     
  9. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    Would we even understand a perfect book, if such a work existed? I shoot for an attainable goal. A book that can be read, again and again, and remain as speaking and graceful each time its pages are riffled. Literature is a dance, the story the melody...A well written tale, well, you know the steps instinctively. You flow and fly, think and cry.

    - Darkkin, the Tedious
     
  10. Arron Albert
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    Arron Albert New Member

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    Fantasy, with a lot of character development and an engaging plot.
     
  11. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I like big, luxurious novels full of interesting nooks and crannies to explore, lots of interesting characters, some philosophical musings, and brilliant, beautiful prose. I want a novel that, by the time I'm finished reading it, has a dozen or more bookmarks in it marking places I want to revisit again and again. I want a novel I need two copies of, so I can fill the margins of one with notes and thoughts and ideas it has sparked in my mind, while still keeping a nice clean copy for my shelf. I want a novel that I keep on my bed rather than my shelf, so that when I wake up in the middle of the night unable to sleep, I can just turn the light on, grab the book, and open it anywhere, happy to lose myself in it for an hour or so before it helps me off to dreamland again.

    I don't know of any novels like this, so I'm going to have to write one of my own.
     
  12. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    If I could write something that someone found laugh out loud funny, too exciting to put down and fascinatingly well-researched I would be very happy indeed :)
     
  13. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The perfect book should make me think. There should be several occasions when I would read and reread and reread again the very same paragraph because the writing is that beautiful. It should include wise quotes that sum up life and little gems of wisdom that make me realise certain things, that I can't help but quote to others too and talk about it. I'll remember such a book, and it'll be a book I'll recommend fervently to others, because anything else is just entertainment - and entertainment is often not worth recommending because its very nature is shallow. (don't get me wrong, there's some fun stuff one could recommend too, but meaningful stuff stands a much better chance of being recommended)

    One such book I'm reading now is Corrie ten Boom's The Hiding Place. Incredible.

    And for myself, since I cannot write humour to save my life, my only route is to write meaningful stuff. So that's what I'm trying :)
     
  14. Quabajazzi
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    Quabajazzi Member

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    The perfect book is a book that has too much to contain in it's pages. A plot that is so deep, intricate and thick that you can almost no get your head around it, but remain in awe that something of this depth has been written. A book like this reminds me the Northern Lights series, but that is only part of what is a much larger picture. My perfect book is crazy.
     
  15. marcuslam
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    marcuslam Senior Member

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    For me, the perfect book, or the perfect story for that matter, is one where I wished the characters were real so they could become my friends.
     
  16. kingzilla
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    kingzilla Senior Member

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    I odont actually mean writing a perfect book, I mean, what would be the perfect book for you. What would benthe ultimate goal you could achieve.
     
  17. cuddles
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    cuddles New Member

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    Perfection is somewhat situational to me. What's perfect at one moment in my life is completely terrible in another. Sure there are books that I can go back to and enjoy no matter what, but parts of it will mean more to me if say I'm going through an extremely stresful time versus a relaxing one. So I guess the best book for me is one that has something for all aspects of my life and I can read 20 different times, each time gaining a unique valuable insight.
     
  18. Mark_Archibald
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    Mark_Archibald Active Member

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    I've already read the perfect book for me, 'The Road' by Cormac McCarthy. I'm just saying its a mistake to sit down and try to write 'the greatest book of all time', because everybody has different tastes, and if you try too hard it will show in the writing.
     
  19. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    My tastes are so varied and I don't stick with a specific genre so this is a tricky question for me!

    Anything that avoids cliches -
    Yet, I don't want a story that bucks morals in order to appear 'shocking and unique' and
    only achieves similar soapbox tactics. Nihilistic fiction runs as bad a course any didactic pap.
    I love surrealism , a battle between good and evil ( spiritual more than say elves or dwarfs )
    a believable ending , not necessarily a happy ending. And characters that aren't distasteful
    but aren't perfect either. Even if I don't agree with all their choices , I should be able to understand
    and be empathetic as to why they made them.
     
  20. SaybleNox
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    SaybleNox Member

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    It has to make me feel, scare me a little, give me scenes that when I play them out in my mimnd look like a scene from a Tarsem Singh movie. I should be so engrossed that I finish it that very same night.
     

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