Q. My plot is not strong enough to carry a reader through to the end of the book. Also, my setting is weak. And my characters, uh, well… So, can my story be driven by something else besides those three? Because what’s really awesome about my book is…
A. No. Your plot, characters and setting must all be at least good, and one or more of them must be excellent.
However, is it true that some books are principally driven by something else. These other drivers include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Allegory (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe);
- Humor (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, MythAdventures);
- Ideology (Atlas Shrugged, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, The Golden Compass);
- Tone (A Series of Unfortunate Events);
- Morality (Les Miserables);
- Ideas (common in science fiction) (Foundation, Flatland);
- Romance (Twilight) (this book is not driven by the characters, which are flat, but by the romance between its two principal cardboard cutouts);
- Technology (anything by Tom Clancy, take your pick).
When you’re published, and rich, and famous, feel free to try some of these. But not until then.