Last night I was at my second ever installment of book club. We reviewed SHATTER ME, by Tahereh Mafi. This was my favorite read for 2011, and therefore MY my suggestion for our churchie little book club.
Let's just say I was shocked when everyone in my book club didn't feel the same as me. At one point, my friend turned to me and asked, "Exactly what about this book made you think it was so good?" My jaw dropped a little before I could collect myself to answer.
I liked it because of Miss Mafi's unique voice, her breakthrough style, her revolutionary disregard of complete sentences. I was blown away by how different and poetic the prose developed. Her response was, "Oh." Pause. "Well, what about the plot?"
"What about the plot?" I responded.
"There wasn't one," another girl reasoned with me. "Not until the very end anyway, and then the ending was beyond weak, totally ripped from the comic book section, and lackluster," she debated.
The next twenty minutes were full of opinions on how bad the actual plot was. How did I overlook that? I mean, I knew the ending wasn't as fabulous as the beginning, but I hadn't placed enough emphasis on it. I've come to realize that I favored voice over plot. As a fellow writer I was blown away by that "Oh So Undefinable Golden Tool" (voice) that I didn't pay attention to how essential plot is as well.
So what do you think? Voice vs. Plot?
(I know both are important! It's not one or the other. Otherwise my large book club wouldn't have cared, right? Which one do you appreciate or favor more?)