Discussion: What makes a novel enjoyable?


What makes a novel enjoyable?
In this order: Story, Plot, themes,Style, Rhythm, Characters, Morals(lesson), pattern, genre... anything else?

What makes a novel enjoyable for you?
Anything that has unique theme or strong lesson is an enjoyable read. Though I am always a sucker or sap for demons, royalty, or stories with characters without common sense. A story with all those makes my day no matter how cliche the story.


  • I think it's an actual story. Most Xianxia novels lack a real story. One of the examples of a good story is Doulou Dalu. Unlike other novels, it feels to me like it has a story with beginning and end. Other ones are just adventures to me where one wants to gets stornger. Few have this "story" because now, most novels are just lots of action with the main character in the middle. I really think TJSS makes good stories.
    Have faith in the Lord Fifth, gain eternal life! When the Lord Fifth appears, who dares to cause strife!
  • edited December 2015
    I think novels need to go somewhere not keep readjusting it along the way a lot, for me this happened really hard in CD. I also tend to like novels that are well written and the language is used to convey something that has relevance and not just talk about random stuff not related to side stories or main plot. However I don't think there is a magic recipe but rather a successful author, some authors write well so it doesn't matter what they write cause they have their distinct style, this applies more to English novels than Chinese. I can read a novel where I hate the MC if the novel is well written. Something Chinese webnovels tend to lack excluding some exceptions like ISSTH and TJJS novels is good use of stylistic features(might be translators not doing amazing English but I would still mostly blame the authors).
  • edited December 2015
    A point that is very important to me is character development ,i get bored easily when the only thing that changes through the story is the mc power.
    And with character development i'm also referring to side characters.
    The story telling can also make a novel quite enjoyable.
    In general i like dynamic stories ,with plot twist and painful cliffhangers .
    Ideally a writer could just write whatever he wants , i believe if they weren't as pressure to sell or appeal the masses , they could work on better and better stories , but sigh , that's something extremely hard .
    In Xianxia what i look forward is to an interesting story with at least a little bit of char development, it doesn't need to be complex or have much scheming ,jut not be as static as the mc gets stronger beats bad guy A ,get harem member A , then appears bad guy B and hm b :c
    Right now my 2 favorite novels are ISSTH and World of Cultivation ,that both have quite a good character development ,we can really see how the mc  mature throughout the series.
  • 1) Well written
    2) Interesting

    that's all it needs.
  • edited December 2015
    A story should either teach me, inspire me, or entertain me. Stories should never be predictable---not that I'm saying that reading must always be a roller-coaster ride (I hate suspense), but a story should strive to be unique from others, even just a little bit. Who'd want to read something they've already read before (except if it's rereading a favorite)? That's why authors should read lots in the genre they're planning to write, so that they would have an idea of what are the stuff that's already written.
    The meat jelly is watching you.
  • things that make a novel enjoyable.

    a good plot. even if a story has an amatur writer, as long as it has a good plot, it can still be enjoyable and you can over look gramatical errors and poor character developement and world building.

    good battles. IET is a good example of this. his stories are lacking in other area's but he does well in giving us entertaining battles.

    entertaining characters: when you've got characters like the meat jelly, fatty, trolls like nei li, yun che, bebe, it becomes fun to read.

    pacing: pacing is important to any story but even sub par story as long as it has proper pacing to match it can still be a good read.

    author knowing when to stop: im not talking about the story (although japan could use some lessons, naruto/bleach/one piece have been going on a bit too long and now it's all about how long they can drag it out before people finally tell them to stop) but details, battles, trainings, mental examinations. if you go on and on about them over and over, it gets very very hard to read a story. although these chinese webnovels do this, they do it in small amounts spread out over tens of chapters, so you're not reading 5 chapters about the same damn thing with no progress.
  • edited December 2015
    Don't necessarily care about a deep story or having "likable" fleshed out characters including the MC. 

    Like the MC in One Punch Man is as bland as can be, and the plot is pretty simplistic and formulaic, yet it's still a favourite read. 

    Ze Tain Ji also for example has a decently impressive story/plot/drama and it also has kinda fleshed out characters at least compared to most alternatives, but I get more enjoyment from other far less developed formulaic settings. 

    Admittedly, usually because while the drama parts are entertaining, the filler parts can end up being kinda boring. Story and drama in general can be boring to read also, especially if it's too human related. It's difficult to find it enjoyable reading bs about ppl I don't give a shit about and very likely dislike; it's like go write a blog, where be the action and the fighting.

    The best drama is naturally the fighting and clashing of wills type, in Ze Tain Ji my favourite part was when the guy who was after the fiance's group were arriving, and all the "higher ups" involved were trying to get the MC out of the way, and Mo Yu went so far as to lock him up in a sealed area. The setting and the things the MC said and did were cool basically (although the dragon bit felt a little cop out I duno).

    To answer though, I'd say of the top of my head deep worlds + subtle mystery + discovery the most. Combined with a harem of hot girls, ideally with a couple of strong older women.

    Hence, I often love the "new to a new VRMMORPG" type novels for example, because usually the character enters a highly deep developed game and there's a lot that is unknown at the start, and he ends up doing a lot of non-obvious things on his path to becoming OP in the game; and the game being highly developed allows such a thing to be possible, such as hidden classes or secret skills, hidden quests etc etc.

    I enjoy the consistently guesstimating of how OP the MC is in a totally new and novel world basically. How OP is the new skill he learned going to be? Is his character build really that good? What is going to happen if he succeeds in the really difficult quest? And ofc, what would I do if I were in such a game?

    If the amount of guesstimating and uncertainty decreases I tend to get a bit bored..

    In Mahouka for example, for a lot of the novel the MC's true strengths were hidden to the reader, so it was always mysterious how OP he was and what were the limits of his capabilities as he faced off against others while being considered trash. Once some of his peak strength was demonstrated however, it got slightly less entertaining for me (only after new mystery arrived I'd get enjoyment again basically).

    I don't enjoy full on mystery type novels also to make it clear, because they're usually about people and human relations (like those detective books zzzz) which I find boring to read about. I prefer the subtle fighting related mystery, where you're unsure who is stronger or how strong someone or something is; like how OP an item or skill is going to be. The more strategic and more dimensions involved in the calcuation the better also.

    Hence, subtle things like an item's passive a character got after a big quest being impactful, or choosing to use a particular set-up to fight an enemy and etc = great.

    I also have a preference for the "well rounded" older women/milfs in these types of settings, and I like reading about a younger MC wooing such women.
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