I've been reading and reviewing a lot of books lately. A lot of them have had fascinating stories, but it feels like there's something missing. I've realized what it is: the books are lacking in depth. When I wrote In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent, my entire focus was on making the story as awesome as I could. I wrote about the coolest characters doing the coolest things in the coolest places. But the book fell flat. It was a great read, but it wasn't the sort of book that people would recommend to their friends. Why not? It had no depth. Depth is what draws us to a book or story. It's definitely a subconscious thing, but our minds are always searching for some sort of connection to the characters we are reading. When our mind finds that connection, we tend to identify more and more with the characters in the book. Twilight is one of the most popular series in the last decade, but the writing is nowhere near up to par. So why is it so popular? If you look at its target audience (young girls), you'll understand why. A young girl is "coming of age" and discovering herself, just like they are. She goes through all the emotional turmoil that young girls experience, and so they subconsciously identify with the main character--even though they have no werewolves or vampires fighting over them. Harry Potter, one of the best-selling books in history, is another coming of age novel, but why does it appeal to adults and children around the world? The emotions and turmoil in the Harry Potter novels appeals to a much broader audience. It's not just a young man finding his identity, but it's so much more. Character depth is absolutely the most important thing in fiction. It doesn't matter if you're writing about a detective, an abused girl, or a fairy princess unicorn-riding goblin hunter--they all need to have depth. It doesn't matter how amazing your story is; if your character has nothing to them, nothing to make you identify with them and their struggles, your story is going to fall flat. I've read stories of epic battles and wizards and dragons that made me yawn, and I've read stories about boring people and their boring life but I couldn't put the book down. It's all about giving your readers something to identify with. THAT is the only way that you are going to interest them in what you have to say!