8 Things I Love Seeing in Books

A few months ago I shared a post called 8 Things I’m Tired of Seeing in Books.  So today I thought I’d share with you some of the themes and tropes I LOVE seeing in books.

As before, these are just my own personal opinions and I know other people may dislike these same tropes etc.  But I just love ’em!


01 Slow burn love/attraction

Image of hot coals and flames. Image from Pixabay

I am all about the slow-burn.  I love when books build up the romantic and/or sexual tension.

If it’s a series of books, I expect the tension to build throughout at least 2 books, if not more.  The exception is if the MCs from the first book are not the MCs in the second book etc.

I love seeing an author throw in simple gestures, small glances and other gentle hints that there’s something brewing 😀


02 Great Friendships

Image of two hands holding pinky fingers.  Friendship

Like the slow burn, I LOVE reading great friendships and let’s be clear I DO mean friendships.  I like romance in books, but I also like friendships so if you have two friends, sometimes it’s nice for that JUST to stay a friendship.

Often those friendships bloom into romance (which is great) but it seems to be almost always the case.  Maybe throw in another character that actually is and stays a friend and doesn’t end up in some love triangle.

Also we see a lot of strong female friendships in books which is awesome, but I don’t see as many male friendships.

Seriously, strong male friendships, brotherhood loyalty kind of friendships.  I want to see more.


03 Love-Hate Relationships/friendships

Illustration of a heart made up of two halves.  A pale blue with the words love across it and wings and a halo at the top.  The other half red with the word hate across and horns at the top along with a dagger piercing the heart.  Image from Pixabay

You know I already love friendships and slow-burn romances, I also seriously love those awkward love-hate relationships/friendships.

Let’s be clear, NOT some creepy stalker/persistent character and the one they are trying to wear down.  But that comedic “why are you even on the quest, you don’t even have a sword!” kind of moments.

Where two or more characters just rub each other the wrong way but usually there is some grudging respect, or a surprising show of compassion or understanding partway through.

Some of my fave books/movies/TV series have characters like that.  I never get tired of it.  Ever.


04 Tragic back story

Photo of bunch of pink roses on sharp rocks with a storm raging. Image from Pixabay

Yup, I love me some tragic backstory.  Probably because I love inflicting my own characters through that.

Whether it’s something small or something large, I like to see some emotional scarring to a character.

That may make me sound a little sociopathic, but it can make for good characters.  It’s why so many comic book heroes have tragic backstories and for tugging at the ol’ heartstrings.


05 Tear-your-heart-out reveals

Image of a woman with her head in her hands.  Image from Pixabay

These moments are usually in the sense of sudden unsuspecting death (sometimes even of a main character).

PS: To anyone who comments I have NOT yet seen all of the Game of Thrones so please don’t mention them as examples.

I’ve read books that had me jumping up screaming “OMG NO!(sometimes in front of a bus full of people) because a reveal was so shocking.

It doesn’t have to be deaths, it could be any type of shocking reveal such as betrayals, they’re good too – I love betrayals (maybe I AM a sociopath ).  I love getting angry and hurt on the character’s behalf.

Books that stir deep emotions stay with me.  I like ones that I have to put it down and recover for a few minutes before I pick it up.


06 A Character with Too Many weapons

Shields, armour and axes.  Image from Pixabay

A silly, done-to-death cliche but I don’t care.  I love it.  Those characters who always insist on bringing excessive amounts of weapons and then has to remove them all.

This then becomes a long moment while everyone watches as more and more, smaller and smaller weapons are removed until you can’t figure out how they even moved for all the weapons.


07 Large Casts of Characters

Black and white photo of a large group of people sitting.  Image from Pixabay

I’ve always been drawn to books where there is a large cast of characters, especially when there are multiple main characters.

If written well, it can really draw you in and make you feel like you’re part of the group.

I especially like books that have these large casts and then split them up, sending them on separate journeys or forcefully pulling them apart to where they have to find a way back to regroup.


08 Compassion in Villains

Image of a jagged black stone in the shape of a heart.  Image from Pixabay

Well developed villains are awesome.  They can sometimes be more fun to read than the protagonist and I’ve even rooted for the odd villain.

I love it when I read a book and the villain shows they have a softer, even caring side.  I like the clashing personality that can come from mostly-heartless character and then there will be a glimmer of some humanity peeking through.


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Over to you, what are some of the things you love seeing in books?

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Happy writing

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8 Things I love seeing in Books.  Text over an image of a book with its pages curled into a heart and a pink rose beside.  Image from Pixabay

15 thoughts on “8 Things I Love Seeing in Books

  1. Compassion in Villains is the one thing I wish I saw more of. We forget that there is a reason for their behavior. Not sure if you are a fan of Stranger Things. The last season they had a wonderful villain with a tragic backstory. By understanding who he use to be our compassion grew. This is something all of us writers need to work on.

    1. Exactly, I think there’s something deeper about learning the reasons behind a villain’s villianeous ways! No, I’ve never watched Stranger Things, it’s on my list.

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