Hi. 🙂 I don’t remember when, but I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about reading deal-breakers over the years. Like, I personally take issue with bad writing, but I hardly ever run into writing so bad I can’t read a book with an interesting story anyway. I also don’t like unnecessary love triangles and pop culture references. And I’ve DnFed books with stupid, brainless protagonists and other random offences. But you can nitpick like that when everything else is in place, you know. There are a lot of problems books can have, not limited to but including: pacing issues, characterization issues for main and/or side characters, mechanical and technical issues like formatting, line spacing, misplaced commas, or whatever, plot problems, description problems, repetition, bad dialogue, unnecessary anything, even tone and atmosphere problems.
When I read, I like to be drawn into a new world. I don’t want to read a book by someone who thinks they can just slap words against a wall and call it a day. TELL ME A FREAKING STORY! I don’t ask for much. I just want something that’s well-written and interesting. Really, no amount of interesting is going to get me past horrific writing. I know everyone doesn’t care, but I find messes incredibly distracting.
That said, I think it was last year, but I read this Alice in Wonderland retelling that was an actual hot mess. There were cliches everywhere and head-hopping and terrible dialogue and passages of description that I had to read multiple times to know what she was talking about. In the hands of someone who could write well, that book would have been fantastic. As it were, it was terrible. Still, I finished it in record time, and it was interesting, and I somehow liked it anyway. The actual plot was way entertaining, and I loved the author’s take on the tale. Plus, whoever edited the book at least knew grade-school basics, so it’s not like I tripped over wayward punctuation or anything. It was just an execution issue, you know.
It’s recently come to my attention that I take well-edited books for granted. Editors are the silent rockstars of the writing world. When they are present and do their job, you don’t notice them at all: the mark of a great editor. I’m so used to reading books that have the basics covered, that I don’t know what to do with myself when I come across a book that’s exploding horrors all over the place.
It’s terrible. It really is. I tried to read a book recently that literally had sentences like this: “Hey can you hand me that hat Lindy,” He shrugged.
Like, what the ACTUAL eff? He shouldn’t even be shrugging right now, let alone the multiple other offenses in that sentence. I mean, what the hell?
The book might be unreadable. I spent an hour trying to read 20 pages. So, I was just like screw it. Why am I torturing myself? There are literally hundreds of other books to read. But if there are any editors reading this: Seriously, thank you so much for your service to the book world. I can’t get lost in something that treats eye rolling and shrugging as a dialogue tag. They’re not dialogue tags!!
Anyway, I find myself pretty fortunate that I read mostly good books. I don’t run into a lot problems on the regular, and I really get to focus on the world and the plot and all the feels. ^_^
I actually hate not finishing books, but sometimes it can’t be helped. I tried to read a Beauty and the Beast retelling last year, but after two chapters, I just couldn’t anymore, and I lost no sleep over it, though I do now have a Dnf folder on my Kindle App with one book in it. Lol! This isn’t to say I won’t rant about it a bad book for an hour, but it’s not going to ruin my day.
Okay, don’t get excited (haha) but I might have a writing update next week. >.<