Facts of Life,  Mini Rants,  Reading

Not Finishing Stuff I Read Or Whatever

Hi. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. Butย 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!!

(deep breath)

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. >.<


  • Michelle Athy

    If there’s something wrong with the grammar or the spelling, I will notice it and I will downgrade that book so fast. I’m not very Grammar Nazi-ish, but those are writing basics, people! Also, I will not tolerate bad, inauthentic dialogue. Like, I *know* I write good dialogue. For the most part, my dialogue seems realistic without being too extra but I started a book last year that had SUCH stilted dialogue and I was like, “Nope. I can’t read this for the next 300 pages.”

    • Krystal Jane

      YES! I know right? Basics, people, come on! I love dialogue. Back in the early days, my books were very close to being 90% dialogue. Lol! Good practice. ^_^ You definitely have good dialogue. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Tonja Drecker

    I hate books where it’s clear the editor didn’t hit it before final publication. I do see some bad reads thanks to the reviewing and shove them away. Bad dialogue is another no go. Or 1st person present bugs me (not sure why), but luckily, there aren’t many of those. I also don’t like overly snotty MCs or idiot MCs or plots which are completely predictable. Or chapters that end with terrible and out of place foreshadowing like ‘But soon, he would find his actions were cause trouble’. Lol! Seems like I have a lot of pet peeves ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Krystal Jane

      Well, I write 1st person present a lot so obviously it doesn’t bother me, but I did think it was scandalous the first time I saw it. But yeah, storytelling isn’t just words! And that kind of foreshadowing is lazy. I want to feel like something ominous is happening, like, don’t tell me.

  • Tyrean (@TyreanMartinson)

    Oh, I’ve attempted to read books like that. I do send some books back to the library without having read more than a few chapters. I’m usually super-thankful for the library in those moments. I do have a book I purchased a month ago that I just can’t seem to read and that bums me out. I wasted $12 on that junk! Agh.
    Hope you find something awesome to read this month!

    • Krystal Jane

      Buying a book and not liking it is such a bummer. I had a similar thing happen last year. I did finally get through it, but I had to get rid of it soon after. Ugh, indeed. ๐Ÿ™‚

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