Jeez, I'm kidding. As I explained already, I want good stories with good characters written in a good style. But here were the preferences, tallied up:
|Story > Characters > Style||9|
|Story > Style > Characters||1|
|Characters > Story > Style||5|
|Characters > Style > Story||2|
So, now I'm trying to think of examples of stories, or authors, that would fall into the above categories. Most of you, like me, value Story above all else, and are most willing to forgive a lackluster style if the story and characters are good. I tend to think that this is probably the category that most authors fall into, actually. A good writer has to be a good storyteller, first and foremost, and most writers now spend a lot of time on character development. But I can think of only a handful of books and authors whose writing style stands out separately.
One person valued Story most, but would rather have it written in a beautiful style even if the characters don't stand out. (This is how I interpret that ranking.) So, who can think of a writer, or a book, that stood out for its exceptional story and prose, but whose characters fell a little flat?
The other half of you valued Characters most, most of these placing the least emphasis on Style. So, great characters, a good-to-great story, and style... meh? That sounds like a lot of fan fiction, actually. I don't mean that as an insult. It seems that a lot of popular fan fiction writers fall in love with their characters, and it shows, and they have pretty good (if not always very original) stories, but their writing style is where they are weakest.
As for the "Characters > Style > Story" category, I am trying to picture this. A beautifully-written story that's mostly about the characters, where the story itself is secondary?
Interesting that no one chose "Style" as the most important element. From reading a lot of NYT book reviews, you'd think that's the most important criteria to be considered a great writer.
And now, today's poll question:
The Totally-Not-Serious Alexandra Quick Shipping Poll!
(This is a crack!poll, y'all. Meaning, if you think I'm actually taking any suggestions about who Alexandra should be shipped with seriously, you are on crack. But all of the options below have actually been suggested by one or more people...)
I set this one so no one else can see who you vote for, so only I will see
Who should Alexandra be shipped with?