Preferably both, of course but if you had to pick, what would you choose?
The purpose of the existence of fiction mainly to tell stories, so of course the story is a very important component to the book. The many twists and turns and the morals it teaches are part of the story. Every book is unique but every story isn’t. Over the course of history, millions of books have been written so it’s obvious that somewhere along the line, some stories may have repeated themselves, some stories may have very very similar plots. So what distinguishes them?
Of course, the writing! The way a story is written adds a new dimension to the reading experience. Of course, the story is very important but when it’s composed of words that help a reader imagine exactly what’s happening, describing every little detail, adding elements of humour and sarcasm, giving the characters depth. Writing is very important to a book. Though stories may repeat, writing is something very personal and so, though similar writing styles may exist, it’s impossible for two writers to write the exact same words while describing the same thing.
In my opinion, both are important to a book. A good story that keeps you hooked coupled with good writing is a beautiful marriage. Both complement each other in the best possible way. But I would personally prefer a badly written good story to a well written bad story. Though in the latter, I would appreciate the writer’s effort, I think plot is a more important component to making a great novel. I’m a big fan of stories and storytelling so whenever a good story comes along, I get very excited! Even when it’s not written well, as long as the story is gripping, I will enjoy the book.
What about you? What do you prefer of the two?