Thursday, February 18, 2016

3 Things I Love in a Good Story // Rosie

from Rosie

1. Good Dialogue

I simply do not like cheesy dialogue. It’s not my thing. And I can’t stand stilted dialogue, either. Dialogue that drags the story down does not belong in any good novel. I like dialogue that adds to the plot and helps you to get to know the characters better. Dialogue should be fresh, personal, and be absolutely OWNED by the characters saying it. It has to be something they would actually say.

Now, of course, it’s hard to keep dialogue original and interesting. I mean, of course, when a boy surprises a girl who’s just dropped her books and papers everywhere, it’s not like they’re going to be terribly witty and gripping. The boy will say “Oh, hullo. D’ya need any help?” and the girl will go, “No, nnnoooo, I’ve got this, thanks.” I understand that! The only thing that I ask is that the dialogue really fit in the story. It helps to make the story so much more enjoyable and memorable. 

2. Atmosphere

I love it when an author creates a world that seems real, a world that you can immerse yourself in so deep that you forget that you have to come out. Wodehouse does that to me. So does Agatha Christie. In my favorite of Christie’s novels, Death Comes As The End, I was drawn in completely to the Ancient Egyptian world that she had created. I even became the heroine, which since it was a murder/romance story was really stressful, actually, but I couldn’t help it. It was just So Good. 

3. Nice heroes

I know I put this in third place, but I actually think it’s the thing I care most about in a book. Which may or may not have something to do with the fact that I’m a girl - I leave to you to figure that out :P What can I say? All girls like to read about romance. However, that being said, having nice heroes is very important to me. By “nice” I don’t mean perfect, at all, at all. I recognize that no one is perfect, not even a hero in a novel. And it’s interesting to read about how they deal with their faults/problems.

I just have problems reading heroes of the type that generally seem to inhabit more and more of our modern romance novels. The kind that has perfect hair, a hawk nose, and an ATTITUDE! The kind that thinks they own the world. The kind that has every lady’s attention and knows it. The kind that doesn’t hesitate to say nasty things. I simply cannot enjoy reading the story arc of a man who starts off as a monster, and I think it’s because I tend to put myself in the heroine’s place when I read a novel. That may seem weird to some of you, but it’s what I do . . . 

And that is why I like “nice heroes.” I would much rather read a story with a more humble and honest hero, even if it means he’s only “average good-looking.” I actually don’t care about perfect hair, funny as it sounds. Because in books, perfect hair seems to go with egotistical, stuck-up heroes. Give me any time a hero who struggles with shyness or a lack of confidence, and I’ll give you the one with the designer label. Only I warn you: he comes with the ability to charm you, betray you, and leave you sobbing in a chair. They’re dangerous, peoples. 

Thank you so much for having me, Heidi! I really enjoyed myself! And I hope I didn’t make too many enemies with that last point! Happy February, everybody! :P 

(Note from Heidi: Thank you so much for sharing, Rosie!)

~     ~     ~ 

And... would you like to share three of your favorite things in a guest post? You don’t have to be a writer to qualify! This series is by story lovers for story lovers.
For post specifics/guidelines you can see the initial post here, then send Heidi a quick email at ladyofanorien(at)gmail(dot)com. (Don’t be shy. I’d love to have you! :))


  1. Great list, Rosie!

    Dialogue seems to be the greatest weakness in a lot of books, in my own personal experience. So then when there's a book with fantastic dialogue, it's SO refreshing, isn't it?!

    I think I should try an Agatha Christie book one of these days…mystery in general isn't my thing, but I'd like to try her out :)

    1. I'm so glad you liked it, Olivia!

      Yes! I love it when a book has GOOD dialogue. It's so satisfying!

      You should definitely try her out! Some of her books are more lighthearted than others, so yeah . . . I probably wouldn't recommend that you start with Death Comes As The End, because even though it's like her best book evah, it does have maybe the most murders of all her books. But if you WANT to read it, go ahead, because it's amazingly written. :P

      Thanks for commenting! :)

  2. Haha, I love the Wooster pictures. (And I love everything Wooster says + completely agree with you about the dialogue.) And I agree with you about the hero, too. Although I like a hero who is witty and charming (like a certain Jane Austen Gentleman We Disagree On) I definitely want him to be respectful and a GENTLEMAN. Goodness yes. :-D

    1. Ah, yes, those pictures were perfect. (Thank you, Heidi! :)) Wodehouse was a WIZARD when it came to dialogue!

      Haha, yes, I know who you're referring to *winks*. Now I have no problem with heroes who are witty and charming, but I must admit that we seem to have different ideas on what that MEANS :P

      GENTLEMAN. That's the word to remember, guys :D Thanks for commenting, Naomi! I'm glad you liked reading it!

  3. Great list! I agree about "nice" heroes. The "bad boy with a potential redemption story" is good sometimes, but I don't want that to be the standard or the norm for every hero... it's kind of like I was telling my husband after watching the first Avengers... It all comes down to which Avenger would you prefer to be trapped in an elevator with? While I might be drawn to Iron Man because of his wit and charm, if I was trapped in an elevator with one of them, I'd far rather it be Cap or Hawkeye. hehe (Probably why Colonel Brandon is my favorite period-drama hero of all time... well that and the fact that he's played by Alan Rickman, I'm sure that helps) ;)

    1. Yes, I know what you mean. It gets a little repetitive after a while, doesn't it? Oh! I'd totally pick Cap. I *whispers* actually don't like Iron Man :P

      Ah! Colonel Brandon is my favorite period-drama hero too! How neat! Alan Rickman probably does have something to do with it, though I do like David Morrissey's portrayal EVEN BETTER :)

      Thank you for commenting!!

  4. Heidi, thank you so much for letting me do this post! I really enjoyed writing! And the pictures you picked out are PURRRRRFECT :)

    1. Rosie,
      Ohh, you're so welcome!!! ;) I'm so glad you enjoyed it and thrilled you like the pictures! :D

  5. Lovely, lovely post, Rosie m'dear!!! I'm so proud of you!! (NO REALLY I AM. NOT KIDDING.)

    You're absolutely right about the dialogue--it's got to sound GENUINE or else your characters kind of fall flat. If you want the readers to believe they're real-live people, they need to TALK like real-live people.

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSS. Nice heroes are an absolute MUST. (I know you already know that I agree with you . . . but I'm saying it anyhow.) Somebody like Kit. Or Captain America. Or Finn. Or Poe ;-)

    1. Awwwww thanks!! That's so sweet of you :)

      Dialogue. It's SO IMPORTANT!!! I think that modern writers forget that sometimes.

      Well of course you did read it before I even sent it, so that's not TOO surprising . . . Oh yes!! ESPECIALLY Poe ;)

  6. Oh, this was so great!! I loved your points!
    I have never read an Agatha Christie book, but the one you mentioned sounds really good...I have a leaning toward Egyptian fiction right now due to a certain book I just read-Mara: Daughter of the Nile.
    Is there any language or anything else inappropriate in her books? (sorry if that's a dumb question, but I don't know much about her :))

    1. Thank you!

      Yes, Agatha Christie is a wonderful author. Language or anything inappropriate? Language - yes. Taking the name of God in vain, sometimes. British swearing, lots of it.
      Um, I can't think of anything really inappropriate. But I'll ask Jessica and comment again to tell you what she says :)

      I'm glad you liked the post!

    2. Annnnnnnd I'm back with the update :P Jessica says she can't think of inappropriate scenes. I can't either. However, being mystery stories and all, there is a lot of "talk" of inappropriate stuff that OTHER characters do, though it's not shown. And of course there are murders and such.

      If you're interested, Jessica said she'd be happy to get together a list of Agatha Christie mysteries that she'd recommend starting with. She wrote so many, y'see . . . some are better than others.

    3. Thank you so much, Rosie! That information helps a lot. :) And please thank Jessica, too!
      I would like to give her books a try sometime, although I'm not sure when I'll get around to it. Is there a particular favorite that Jessica recommends? :)

    4. Jessica said The Secret Adversary was a good one to start with, because it's one of her more lighthearted ones. And if you like that one, than you'd also like the other Tommy and Tuppence books too.
      And she also said that They Came To Baghdad was a good one. And the Miss Marple Short Stories.
      I hope that helps!!! :)

    5. Thank you!! I'll keep those in mind. :D

  7. Good post! Dialog is a make-or-break for me too. And I cannot love any character that I don't believe is truly nice. Though some characters I define as nice are also arrogant or selfish or demanding or needy or cranky... they aren't nice allll the time, necessarily.

    1. Thank you! Oh, I totally understand that the characters have to be HUMAN. I just want them to be "nice" humans. If that makes any sense :)

    2. It does make sense. Sometimes I love a character (like Sawyer on Lost or ummm... Boromir in LOTR) and other people insist they're "not a nice person," and I'm like, "Yes, they are, underneath." They ARE nice, even if they don't always behave nicely. Hee!


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