If you’re anything like me, one of your favorite reasons to read is for the story. Not for the character development and interaction. Not because of the descriptive, emotive powers of the writer. Not because of deep, literary meaning hidden beneath layers of metaphor. (Even though those are all good things.) No … it’s because you want to know what happens next?
Or, um, is it just me?
Great writing is important, and figuring out the metaphors in a book is also something I really dig into some books for. But without a story that interests me I wouldn’t get far enough into the book to apprecialte those things. Great characters are a definite need, but if great characters do nothing but sit around and drink coffee then I’m not sure that’s enough to make even the best writing compelling.
No, it’s definitely the story that I read and even buy a book for. I’m not standing there in Walden’s, flipping books over and reading the back covers wondering, “Hmm.. I wonder what Pub Weekly said.” No, I’m wanting to know what the book is about. Why do I want to spend $12 (avg) to put this book on Mt. TBR, which is already overflowing onto my desk. The story has to be something I want to read. I’d sacrifice great writing for great story.
Of course, I want great writing, great characters, and great story, though you know ;-)