For this post, I’m going to pretend this is a new author (I’m reading several new to me authors right now), it’s a genre I love, the back blurb has my attention, the first few pages give me a good feeling about the plot and characters.
The biggest killer is droning internal dialogue or description. Honestly, more than two paragraphs and I get bored. Sprinkle it in between characters talking. Keep it short, break it up.
You told me everything. Unanswered questions are why I flip pages. Only tell me what I HAVE to know and nothing more.
Characters that are too stupid to live. If they keep making stupid mistakes, then you better bring the best plot ever.
And this one kind of goes with the first. As the story progresses I imagine what I’d do in the character’s shoes. If it is too far from what I would do then it doesn’t feel believable. Not always something that makes me put a book down, but it is possible.
Door mats fall in this category. The character better get some self-respect fast. I don’t care what her/his backstory is.
Don’t lose me. Randomly jumping scenes, jumping time, jumping heads. Along these lines, don’t have too many proof reading errors. It is so easy to do this when I write. Make sure you give the story to someone who has never heard of your plot. Have them mark questions or comments as they go. These situations pull me out of the story. One or two aren’t bad, but string too many together and I’ll switch to a story I can follow. And you fantasy & sci fi peeps that I love to read, let’s not get crazy with a new language or funny names I can’t pronounce.
Nothing happens…I actually read several stories where nothing happened. Literally…it boggled my mind. There wasn’t an antagonist…no drama…and no story. Happens a good bit with short stories.
Formatting, if I can’t get around it. I don’t like zero space between lines. If the text is too crowded, I can’t read it. Give a dyslexic chic a break.
So, I guess I’m a bit more forgiving than the people in the previous post that I reblogged.
Pretend you have a book, it’s a genre you love…the plot feels decent, the characters aren’t flat. What would make you stop reading?