so that whole thing i said last week about making time/sacrifices for your writing?
yeah, i forgot to mention - i also sacrifice internet time for writing. that's just my little way of saying, between BILLY D revisions and BUTTER edits (and hopefully writing GRIM or something new), i'm probably going to be down to 1 or 2 blog posts per week throughout the summer. but i'll be around on twitter, so say hi! :)
on to today's post:
i want to know: What Makes You Put a Book Down?
i was asked that question the first (and only) time i ever attended a book club. i embarrassed myself by misunderstanding the question and said something like, "oh, you know, when i have to go to work and go to sleep and stuff..." o.o
what they meant was, of course, when do you put a book down FOREVER and decide not to finish it?
this question shocked me at the time. i was very much a "finish what you start" kind of gal, and it seemed wrong somehow to not see a book through to the end, even if you were reading it for pleasure and not enjoying it.
but that's the whole point, isn't it? pleasure? enjoyment?
i've since learned it's okay to not finish a book. or at least, i've gotten better about setting aside stories i'm not enjoying.. for now. some of the books in my "to be read" pile could easily be added to a "try try again" pile. i always tell myself i'll pick up the book again later and give it another shot. however, i rarely do this.
that's probably part of the reason i badgered my beta reader, K, to tell me any and all points in the current WIP where it could be put down - put down for now or put down forever - because we all want to write a page-turner, right?
and it got me thinking about what makes ME put down a book for good.
#1 - sloooooow pacing. maybe it's because i read so much YA these days, but i have little patience for a turtle's pace. if one page doesn't pull right into the next, i'm likely to fall asleep or get distracted and, ultimately, put the book down.
#2 - boring. not in pace, but in storyline. if it's not something new and unpredictable, or if the characters are just ordinary with ordinary things happening to them, i tend to walk away. i mean, if i want ordinary, i'll just look at my own life. why read about someone else's?
#3 - lack of plot/tension. i may love the characters, but if i'm not on the edge of my seat yearning for them to get what they want, then why would i keep reading? i have cool "characters" to hang out with in the real world. i need a story too.
***disclaimer: i may or may not personally struggle with one or all of the above issues in my own writing. (hence the badgering of my beta.)
other things that could lead to me skimming or altogether skipping the rest of a book i've started:
- unlikeable characters
- poor writing, small vocabulary
- elements or scenes i find personally disturbing (everyone's got their thing they'd rather not read about.)
and there are exceptions to my own rules, naturally. Vonnegut, Kerouac and Thompson have all sucked me straight through stories despite a lack of plot (#3), thanks to amazing writing.
so, as those book clubbers once asked me, What makes YOU put a book down?