I haven't done one of these in a while so I thought I'd share my thoughts on how important balance is in a story. I was thinking about the book Incarceron and how nicely the author created a balance within the tale. There were no lengthy paragraphs of description, but rather short snippets interspersed with dialogue or inner thought or action. It was just enough to let me see the place, smell it, imagine a little before the story moved on in one way or another. Incarceron is a fairly long book (for YA) 448 pages, hardcover, but it read like a dream.
Additionally, the characters in the book are fairly well-balanced, except maybe for the Queen who is just plain evil - I might've liked a little something different - but her son, though hateful, is too lazy to do any real damage. Claudia's father, on the other hand, is just simmering with anger and I was never sure exactly what he might do. The 'good' are equally real; Claudia knows she's priveleged but can't help acting imperious and Finn is no angel either. I won't go into details because I don't want to spoil the book for anyone but when I find a book that does so much right I can't help but want to share it as well as learn from it.