Stubborn reading (was Re: YA/Children's/Adult Books)

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at imperial.ac.uk
Fri May 2 05:39:55 EDT 2003


Minnow wrote:
> Maybe it's a distinction between character-driven and 
> plot-driven books? Anyone?  If one loves one sort, is one going to un-love
the 
> other, as it were, or are both of similar levels of delight, just in 
> different ways? 

I enjoy both, but I'm more likely to love and re-read a character-driven
book; I notice wooden characters much sooner than I notice a clunky plot.
It's the difference between Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers; both can do
puzzling (to me, anyway!) mystery plots but Sayers' people are alive. (I
hadn't noticed how unlikely Wimsey is until I read an essay pointing it out-
he's a natural at *everything*- but he's so real it doesn't matter.)
I think DWJ can work with types- some of the short stories don't really have
room to develop rounded characters, and her imagination of situations and
worldbuilding make them still very readable. If she didn't write great
characters in the books she would be a different author <g>, but I think
still a good one. The fact that her people are so real makes the books
richer and deeper. 
Jennifer
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