Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Random Question

When reading those first few pages of a new book, what bothers you the most? What does it take to make you put the book down and not pick it back up?


  1. Sentences that read like they were written by a second-grader. I nearly abandoned Twilight for that reason alone. It struck me as "this is the way a book would read if Nicole had written it". Sentences were too short and didn't evoke any feeling other than that of reading a gradeschool diary.

    Ultimately I trudged on, because I really wanted to see what all the hype was about. But I almost quit.

    Also, I can't get through something that has ultra-long flowy sentences that seem to ramble on and I can't figure out if it was just a random stream of words or if there was actually a point in there somewhere. I guess I'm picky about sentence structure. It has to be sophisticated, and it has to be more evocative than anything I could write personally, but it still has to be comprehensible. :-)

  2. I think you nailed it for me too. I gave up on Twilight in the first chapter -- though I'd been leaning away from it long before Husband thought it would be funny to give me the book for Christmas.

    Sparkling, vegetarian vampires, 300 years old, in high school. At least Angel had a reason to be hanging around the school (some demon introduced him to Buffy and he some instant metaphysical connection that wasn't much better than the Twilight version -- but it had Joss humor to drive it and make us forgive) and he didn't try to take classes.

    And there was a book I threw away, not too long ago, that was so entranced in describing the colors of fall I began to wonder if the falling leaves would be the main characters. Pages of that. I think the main character ended up being called Roland. Must remember to look up and see if there has been a Roland main character living without the flowery prose.

    My flaw is rambling :) Not overly flowery sentence construction, but tangents and multiple thoughts shoved into one sentence. I try to edit it out with varying degrees of success.

  3. Infodump. I'd rather be thrown in headfirst and sort things out later. I hate trudging through miles of exposition to get to a plot. Give me a bullet dodging, not musing on missed chances. Or at least an interesting setup: DeeDee was my best friend, until the afternoon I killed her.

    Oh, and please, please, never open with an emo poem.

  4. I must research emo poems and create something just for you. I wonder if I can think of something by Christmas....

  5. Too much traveling and exposition. I hate reading about someone sitting and thinking or driving and thinking or riding get the idea.

  6. When those are mid-book I catch myself skimming the boring parts.

    When discussing with someone a book we've both read and I can't remember a scene that annoyed them, it usually means I jumped ahead to the point where the next interesting thing happened. And it's an unconscious habit. Usually it's not a big deal, but it can be bothersome -- when I'm trying to critique someone else's work and I can't remember the last few pages.