How “deep” should a book be?

Shallowness or deepness in a book can be compared to an ocean.  There is not much in a shallow ocean. But if you could only swim (read) for five minutes, would you actually want to swim in a deep ocean?

It’s the same with books. Deep books take the reader on a real, emotional journey. Shallow books allow the reader to have fun and laugh.

Here are some of the genres generally associated with shallower books. This does not always apply– any book can be whatever the author wants it to be. I once wrote a short story that was *supposed* to be a comedy. Everyone got scared of it because it had a grim atmosphere. They thought it was horror!

Lighter Books:
comedys, some romances
classic westerns, most autobiographys

most kids and adventure books
Heavier Books:
dramas, gothic, other romances, war, horror

Usually, the books that leave the most long-lasting impression are those with real lessons and believable worlds. They have to have a lot in common with real life. Funnily enough, sometimes a sci-fi or historical book will be more realistic than a modern book that is done poorly. Therefore, the reader will relate better to the characters. I have used both styles in my writing but generally gravitate towards a heavy style. You may be slightly confused by my use of the words light, heavy, shallow, and deep. They essentially are interchangeable.  However, shallow and deep are more about the lessons in the story, whereas light and heavy can do with the genre. Ever write a light horror novel? Didn’t expect so. How about a heavy romantic comedy? 🙂

To finish, here is my opinion of the two. I’ll compare them.

Pros of a shallow style:

1. Easy to read before bed  2.  Still can be interesting and informative   3. Easy for people with lower skill to read  4. Requires less attention, so people with short attention spans can read for longer.  5. Better suited for a casual audience  6. Makes a good gift for a lot of people

Cons of a shallow style:

1. Doesn’t teach as many lessons  2. Doesn’t reward the reader very much when the hard times get easier  3. May turn off more scholarly readers  4. May not be remembered as well

Pros of a deep style:

1. Builds emotional fortitude, patience, and attention in the reader  2. Teaches lessons  3. Makes you think and possibly change your life  4. They wll remember you (if you did a good job)  5. You may get very good critical reviews (audience reviews are separate) 

Cons of a deep style

1. Good luck getting young kids to read it  2. Casual readers may not like it  3. Takes longer to read  4. Requires a decent attention span 

Thanks for reading!  🙂 Please tell me what you prefer.


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