I find now that my personal preference is often the character-driven novel. Whether it’s a tender love story, a tale of espionage, or a picture book, I like strong characters that pop out and carry the scenes.
I’m not talking about characters that are described in minute detail – down to the color of their nail polish or the style of their shoes. Those are great details, but I want to believe in the character, and feel that he/she is someone I could meet at the market or at the park. If you, as the writer, can create characters that are real to me and will stand out in a crowd – whether it be a crazy uncle bent on killing his niece in an attempt to gain control of the family fortune, or a walking disaster in the form of a mop-headed, mischievous little girl, then I’m hooked. Those stories could be told by a variety of people in an endless array of styles. But to keep me reading, I have to believe these characters are real. Shoot, even a lovable, silly old bear will keep me reading if he has enough personality!