StatCounter

Friday, April 25, 2014

You Want to Throw the Book Against the Wall – Why?

 
 
Welcome to our Round Rhobin where we all post our thoughts on the same topic. I love reading everyone else’s take on the topic. It amazes me how we can all come at it from so many different viewpoints. I always learn something from everyone’s blog. I’m off to see that the rest of our group has to say. I hope you enjoy my post.

Has this ever happened to you?
You loved the blurb. The first page sounded interesting. You bought the book.

You took it home, excited to be drawn into the story and spend the next few hours with characters you loved, following them on their journey.  (Or if it’s an e-book, you curl up in your most comfy place with your e-reader expecting the same experience.)

You read the first few pages.
Okay, not quite what you expected but maybe it will get better. You force yourself to read another chapter. Hope is fading. How did this book ever get published?

There must be some redeeming features. You paid for the book so you plow through a few more pages and then (if it’s a paper book) throw it against the wall, stomp on it and go find another book.

Why? What were the reasons you couldn’t finish the book? What happened to the promise to carry you off into a wonderful read?
 
This has happened to me. There are many reasons why a book disappoints. You might not relate to the characters and find you don’t care what happens to them, or the characters are “to stupid to live.” You know – there’s a killer in the house and the heroine decides to look for him herself and goes down into the dark basement alone. Arghh!
 
Or maybe the story doesn’t start in the right place and you have pages and pages of back story. You know what her mother had for breakfast and that the heroine painted her toe nails pink.  Or here might be too much detail and description. There are pages of furniture, curtain styles and patterns, flowers or details of each course of food eaten.  You’re either falling asleep or banging you head against the wall. (Okay, I’m exaggerating a little, but you know the books I mean.) And none of these details move the story forward.
 
Maybe there’s little or no conflict or the conflict could be resolved if the h/h sit down and talk to each other. The end – and it’s only page 10, but no, the author won’t let them talk and the story continues to drag on.
 
I could probably think of a few more things but I’d rather here what drives you crazy and could make you throw the book against the wall. Why do you quit reading a book before you finish it?
 
Now please check out the rest of our wonderful group and their blogs about why they might throw that book against the wall. Next up is Rhobin Courtright - http://rhobinleecourtright.com
Check them all out.

21 comments:

  1. Beverly, Excessive description coming up again. A lot of us agree that the toe nail polish needs to be relevant. If it were in a Sherlock Holmes, it would denote a secret society...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've felt like throwing a book at the wall a time or two! Descriptions should have a purpose in your story and that's not so you can make your word count. Same with love scenes. Don't get me wrong, I love them, but not seven pages long!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those are the ones I was thinking about, Rose. Good description is done with fewer words and tight writing. You're drawn in without noticing it.

      Delete
  3. Dull characters, yeah. TSTL heroines? Definitely, since I want my heroines to be intelligent and capable of dealing with their lives or they bore me.

    Over-bearing heroes is another one I hate...I can't stand men like this in real life, so why would I want to read about them in a romance where I'm supposed to be swept off my feet along with the heroine? If I want to smack him upside the hear for patronizing the heroine, and being a stalker who takes over her life, then I don't fall in love with him--I want to take out a restraining order against him to keep him away from her!

    And heroines and heroes who never sit and talk through their problems? Definitely a turn-off! If you can't come up with a better obstacle to their HEA, then maybe you should be writing short stories and not attempting to capture a reader for a whole novel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Fiona, I missed the over-bearing hero. Definitely a reason to throw your book against the wall.

      Delete
  4. I really have to read a book all the way through if I bought it. I can't not finish a book. I also try to find something that I enjoy about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are a such a good person. :) I'm afraid I try to read a book looking for a redeeming feature but I've had some where I'm almost getting a headache from trying to drag myself through a really bad book. And I know it's the right thing when I quit reading it and I really don't care how it ended.

      Delete
  5. I figure that a heroine that goes looking for a villain is just following TV script. They do it all the time to create tension. Stupid, yes...foolhardily? even bigger yes. I'm a bit more tolerant in those areas, but redundancy and overdone tags turn me off. Reading, "John said," fifty times when there are two people in the room, insult me. Great post. Enjoyed your perspective.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a couple more good ones, Ginger - redundancy and overdone tags. Thanks for sharing.

      Delete
  6. If I'm not drawn into the story, I'll never finish it. If there's too much tension, I'll put it down. I read to relax, not to have my heart pounding the entire time.

    I'm a picky reader. My reading time is limited and I use it wisely. If the book is so-so, I'll read the ending. If the ending makes sense, I'll plow through it. Otherwise, I'll move on to something else.

    The last time I really threw a book, it was an English author who I love, and it was loosely based on fact. Because I knew the author's other work, I didn't skip to the end. But the ending made me so angry - someone got away with murder. Really! I wanted to kill the guy myself and he walked! All because he had money and power. Yep, tossed that book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, now that's one I hadn't even thought about, but you're so right, If the ending doesn't tie up all the loose ends and good triumphs over evil and the bad guy gets caught and punished - I hate the book. Probably won't read another one by that author.

      Delete
  7. Everything you've listed and more. LOL In particular, plot devices, poor grammar, and stupid plots. When you combine plot devices with too-stupid-to-live characters, now that's a doozy. I don't want to just throw the book, I want to prevent the author from publishing another book for public consumption ever again. LOL It's a crime against humanity, in my eyes. LOL

    Marci

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks Marci, your post made me laugh, but I have to admit, I agree. And when you combine a bunch of the things it becomes painful.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I hate unsatisfactory endings too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that one's pretty unanimous.

      Delete
  10. Marci, I had to laugh! " There are many reasons why a book disappoints. You might not relate to the characters and find you don’t care what happens to them, or the characters are “to stupid to live.” Arghh!

    I agree.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Characters are often a good reason not to finish the book. Thanks Connie.

      Delete
  11. Marci not to disappoint readers is a writer's challenge. If you do have your heroine doing something out of character like going down to a dark basement alone come up with a pretty good explanation to make the action seem plausible.

    Geeta

    ReplyDelete