Discussion: Predictability in books…

 Have you ever noticed that books can be slated for their predictability? I know its not good when you can see things coming from a mile away and everything turns out exactly how you expected it to and nothing deviates from what you expected… However have you noticed how there are different types of predictability in books? Or is that just me?
You get the books like those mentioned above… you can see the end right from the beginning and you spend most of the book wondering why you’re reading it. Usually the characters don’t interest you and the writings a bit boring so you can’t be bothered finishing it. I often think I’m going to give up with books like this and if I don’t it’s a miracle!
Then there are the books similar to the previous, the ones which you know what’s coming but the characters and your invested interest keeps you going, it may be that you really like one of the characters or the world in which the book is set, but something keeps you holding on even though you are fully aware of the ending!
Finally I think there’s the “I know what’s going on but I don’t actually care because seeing X work it out is the best bit!” books. These books keep me hooked because you are often working everything out as the MC does and you can see where its going but you’re either not 100% sure or you want to see how it gets there. I love a good detective story and these books are like that sometimes, even if they’re an entirely different genre. I think you can argue that the Harry Potter books are like this as in pretty much all of them you know that Harry is going to discover something and will have to get himself out of the situation in some way which often involves fighting Lord Voldemort (we’re allowed to say his name now right?) but still they are an amazing set of books.
What do you think? Have you ever noticed anything like what I’ve mentioned above or am I just crazy! Haha 


  • Jade!

    I know what you mean Raimy! I really only slate books for predictability is it’s type 1 or 2 and I know everything thats going to happen (like the paranormal reads where theres a new guy/girl and they meet a mysterious love interest and then they get put in danger…). I don’t care if it’s predictable if I’m really interested in the storyline and don’t know what hurdles they will have to face to reach the predictable end.

    Do I make sense?

  • Jennifer A

    I agree. The super obvious ones are more annoying to read, but I don’t mind the ones where I don’t know the “how” yet. Those are fun because they usually have some unexpected surprises.

  • Cait

    Haha, I was actually considering writing a post on this! I totally agree there are different types of predictability. Personally, I like it when you KNOW a big plot twist is coming up and the apprehension and dread knowing that it WILL happen and the character doesn’t know it yet…usually seen as a negative “I figured out all the plot twists” but sometimes I think it can actually have more of an effect than a surprise twist!

    Great post =]

    The Cait Files

  • Keris Stainton

    It drives me mad when reviews of romantic novels criticise them for being “predictable” – by which the reviewer usually means that you know the main girl and boy will end up together. Well, duh.

    My favourite film is When Harry Met Sally but I’ve never seen anyone complain that “it’s so predictable when Harry meets Sally!” 😉

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