What do you <3 or hate about novels?

Every form of fiction has its benefits and its drawbacks. I’d like to explore each kind one at a time. Let’s begin with novels! I’ll start with a couple of thoughts.

Novels

Benefits:

  • They interface with your imagination.  🙂  You get no pictures (or few, usually), and you aren’t actually involved in the story, but you get to take what you read and make it real for you. This is why often people are disappointed by film versions of their favorite novels. No other person can accurately recreate the magic that happened in your own mind when you read a good book.
  • You can read them any time — as long as you’re free of distractions.
  • Other benefits?

Drawbacks:

  • They can’t show you anything that you can’t imagine. If the author fails to explain approximately how large the monster is, then the reader either has to make that part up or feel lost.
  • It can be difficult to enjoy reading when there are noisy people nearby.
  • Other drawbacks?

What else?

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4 responses to “What do you <3 or hate about novels?

  1. Novels can truly get you into the pysche of a character — similarly, novels can create vast worlds which are impossible to develop in a short story. While a movie can immediately immerse you in a world (most often using visuals), my favorite novels use references to non-existent books, invented authors, previous historical events which are not always suitable techniques for the silver screen — best world building in my opinion that utilize this technique — (not counting Tolkein or Herbert’s Dune) — sci-fi John Brunner’s Stand on Zanzibar and for fantasy, Jeff VanderMeer’s Shriek: An Afterword.

    • Joachim, I love books that do that! Great reading suggestions, too.

      Have you read The Princess Bride? The author refers extensively to the “true” author of the legend, including areas where he indicates that he abridged the original version and explains why he made those choices. In actuality, the entire thing is fiction. It’s a great read! 🙂 The film is fantastic, too, but it’s interesting to see how they had to change that entire approach because it wouldn’t have transferred to the screen.

  2. Pingback: What do you love or hate about short stories? | Irene L. Pynn's Blog

  3. Pingback: What do you love or hate about plays? | Irene L. Pynn's Blog

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