As I’ve been reading lesser works by well-known authors this summer, I’ve wondered what makes a work great. Is it imagery, plot, character development, or the ability to surprise? Is it subtlety or precise diction? Paragraph structure or syntax? Is it the author’s ability to keep the reader uncomfortable yet still engaged?
I don’t know.
This article in The New York Times has an interesting take. I like the question, “Why, for example, do the great writers use anticipation instead of surprise?”: