I spent three days last month in a Creative Writing course in London and I am on my final deadline to deliver a short story for appraisal. While I try to write something my instructor will not want to set fire to, and baring in mind all the books I have reviewed, I have to wonder what gives a book the Va va Voom factor?
If I am honest, for me, there are quite a few boxes to tick; but there are four that are simply Va Va Voom basic requirements:
1. The action has to kick in straight away. There is nothing worse than having to read till page 200 before it gets good.
2. I have to feel I am on an emotional roller-coaster, because, you know... If I don't bite my nails, scream at the book, laugh and cry with it... It just isn't real.
3. Which brings me to three... At some level I have to think: "Yeah, this could happen". I am a big fan of fantasy books, especially YA, but I hate far-fetched fantasy. Something needs to make it believable. I have to think that in some bizarre way it could happen; there could be vampires lurking in the dark corners of my house or it could rain cats today. Of course! It is ALL perfectly plausible!
4. Last, but not least... Romance... I am a girl after all! An old-fashioned one, come to think of it. There needs to be an interesting boy chasing an aloof and interesting girl. And there needs to be a moment they are about to kiss... And you hold your breath on the suspense... And then it doesn't happen. Because we all know the chase is the best part of the game. :-)
What about you? What are your Va Va Voom requirements?