I picked up Veronica Roth’s Divergent over a year ago because I wanted to see what all the hype was about and I wanted an easy read. The trailers for the movies didn’t do much for me, but neither did the trailers for The Hunger Games series and I devoured those books last year, so I figured Divergent might be the same way.
However, once I started reading it, I was underwhelmed. Even a little bored. But mostly, I was disappointed. How could a novel so successful be such a bore? I didn’t discover the magic of the book until a little more than halfway through.
Once the world building and the setting and character types were established, I felt like Roth was going through some of the most mundane tasks that her characters were going through. The fighting scenes were described in detail, but they were simply training, so what difference did it make who won and who didn’t?
That all changed once things started to heat up between Tris and Tobias. Their romance created a distraction from the “normalcy” that had become the rest of the book. (We get it, you chose a different faction, abandoned your family, and miss them dearly. The point?) It wasn’t so much that I craved to read a romance, I just wanted something to happen. Something that mattered.
Tris and Tobias’s relationship provided that extra bit of detail that I was looking for. From there, the novel started to dive into the revolution that was only slightly hinted at through the rest of the book.
I felt the same about Cinda Chima’s Seven Realms series. The Demon King bored me to no end. Still, I loved Chima’s previous work with the Heir series, so I pushed through it. Demon focused on world-building and Han and Raisa were featured separately throughout the whole book, although some of the minor characters crossed paths. Once Han and Raisa met and their stories became intertwined in The Exiled Queen, I was more interested. As the series progressed in The Gray Wolf Throne and The Crimson Crown and Han and Raisa developed a romance while the world that the story was based in was in a civil war, that’s when I was at the edge of my seat.
It wasn’t until I was reading Divergent that I noticed how important mixing plots becomes. You need a healthy combination of romance, story arc, and great characters to make a good story. That’s hard to achieve, but something every writer is working toward.
As I wrote my second book, The Full Moon, the story naturally lent itself to the healthy mix that I was looking for. The story wouldn’t exist without the romance between Will and Kathy and the conflict between Kathy and Samantha only added to the plot of the book.
However, during the first draft of The Harvest Moon, I was finding a hard time grabbing that magical recipe until I was working on edits, which helped me discover where that magic was hiding.
So take a look at what books you enjoyed reading. Which ones made you sit on the edge of your seat and look forward to that next chapter? Which ones didn’t leave a huge impact and were forgotten? Which one do you want your book to be? What exactly did you find so captivating about your favorite books? How can you capture that for your own books?
The Full Moon is available for preorder and will be released TOMORROW.
Kathy and her sister, Samantha, have always been a team. Throughout their time as witches, they’ve taken out more than their share of bad guys. But after Kathy meets Will, who she learns is a demonic Dark Knight, her loyalties begin to change.
Meanwhile, Samantha doesn’t trust Will or his intentions. Still, Kathy can’t help but feel tempted by the dark side as she falls deeper in love with Will. Crossing over would give Kathy the freedom to do whatever she wanted with her magic. No rules. No limitations. It would also mean breaking the bond she has always shared with her sister, who has made it clear that she wants nothing to do with the dark side.
When Will proposes they take over the underworld, Kathy loves the idea of having power. But it also leaves her with a choice that will change her life: abandon her family and the life she has always known, or give up the love of her life forever.