Friday, August 19, 2011
Off to a S—L—O—W start
I consider myself pretty easy—an easy reader that is. I generally like most books I read, but when I come across one I don’t like I’m never sure what to do. Keep reading? Stop reading? I will admit I feel like a failure stopping.
I’m currently reading a highly praised, highly recommended, 600+ page adult fantasy debut and I want to hit myself over the head with it. Yikes.
What are the problems?
The slow start: OH MY GOSH! I’m 80 pages in and NOTHING has happened. NOTHING! I have no sense of the plot and even worse—I have no sense of who the MC is. I can deal with a slow start. A lot of books I love take a while to build—the difference is they do eventually build.
Terrible cover copy: I have no sense of what this story is about. I even went on to Goodreads to try and unravel the mystery, but it was no help. I have a sinking feeling—there is no plot. *sigh*
Telling not showing: So far I’ve read very little showing. Yuck. The actual writing only goes to add another layer of dislike.
If this book hadn’t been recommended to me by people I trust I would chuck it out the window. They keep telling me, “It gets better.” But will it really get better for me?
Maybe I needed to read this so I would have a firsthand experience with “what not to do”. Agents have been saying this forever, but now I REALLY believe them :)
1. Give readers a sense to the plot and stakes early on
2. Engage readers early
3. Have a strong character voice
4. If something is boring leave it out
Maybe I will give it 100 pages. That’s fair right? But as I look at this book sitting next to my chair—I’m already bored.