Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A-Z Challenge: I is for "it" factor

Every now and then, I come across a book I literally cannot put down. I forgo meals, sleep, just to find out what happens next. And once the journey has ended and we've gone our separate ways, I might even go through a little post-book grief.

I imagine, for any author, that's the goal: to create a work with an "it" factor. But what is "it" and is it the same for most (or all) readers? Of course, if it was as simple as dropping in the "it" factor/formula/etc., then every book would have it. That sounds like a lovely idea: every book a masterpiece. But if it was that simple, then the treasured affect would diminish. The hunt would be null and void. I like that the "it" factor is a bit of a mystery.

For me, the "it" factor in a book is simple: I have to believe, with all my heart, in the main character. I don't have to always agree with him/her, but I do have to feel like, in reading his/her voice, he/she is telling me their story exactly as they know it to be true. When a writer does this, I'll follow that character anywhere: to spaceships, magical woods, dragon caves, political arenas, underwater, etc. The voice of the writer is absolutely the "it" factor for me. And it's what I tried very hard to focus on in Moonlit.

A few of my "it" factor books:
Bloodroot, Amy Greene
Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins (book one only)
The Black Stallion Series, Walter Farley
Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini

What is your "it" factor? What are your treasured books that have it?

See you tomorrow. I'm tell you the whole story behind my pen name, Jadie Jones.


  1. I can't put down a book that takes me somewhere else, and for better or worse, I like that place better than where I am now. I love to get lost in the pages. Besides, there's nothing like a good book diet plan. Who needs to eat when we simply must know what happens on the next page...and the next.

  2. I think for me it's dialogue and tension. I'm not quite sure how to put it- but I do know if the dialogue can't reach me then I can't continue reading... I will read an entire book just to see what a character might say next. My favorite book with this it factor would be Kim Harrison's 'Hollows' series- yep the whole series. Jenks is by far amazing!

  3. I love "it" books. For me, it's a good plot and characters with lots of cliffhangers at the end of chapters that make me want to turn the pages.

  4. So glad to have found your blog! New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge and I look forward to visiting again.


  5. Captivating characters are the key. I dig the Agent Pendergast books by Preston and Child because of the main character.


Ramble on, y'all.