By Tqwana B.
Has anyone ever rec’d a book to you, raved about it, and when you read it, you wanted to side-eye that person? Because somewhere in there is a decent story, but you couldn’t get passed the actual words?
I’ve actually given up on some writers, big names in their genres too, because I couldn’t stand the repetitive, choppy sentence structure and elementary level prose. On the flip side, if you’re taking four pages to tell me someone is an asshole – I’m looking at you Jane Austen – then we can’t get down either. I neither want to feel like I can picture you sitting with a thesaurus as you’re writing nor that I’m reading your first draft.
I find that I have this issue when it comes to dialog too, especially if one character, while speaking to another, talks and talks for pages at a time. It’s a conversation, not a soliloquy.
Or if that character never uses contractions. Why would a person not use contractions? It’s something we do naturally when actually speaking. It’s fiction, not a formal essay. I think even that rule doesn’t much apply anymore.
Sorry, but you get a DNF.
As a matter of taste, if it’s a decent story with great plot development and well-rounded characters and all, but they write like Hemingway (sorry, not sorry), does that make you like the book less or can you overlook it?
What does it take for an author’s technique, or lack thereof, to take you out of the narrative? I find that romance novel readers can overlook this aspect sometimes. Am I wrong?
To each their own, I guess.
Of course, the opposite is true in that an author can write beautiful, poetic sentences in a book that has one-dimensional characters and gigantic plot holes. Either way, I’m not liking your book much.
For me, there must be balance. What’s your happy medium for a good read and when do you just give up?