Why I stop reading a book

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?

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3 thoughts on “Why I stop reading a book

  1. I reading a book right now that I find interesting despite the fact that it’s out of my normal genres. However, one of the main characters is a little too perfect for my liking. She believes she has flaws but her creator, the author, has her such that the flaws are only what she thinks. They’re actually the flaws of others. This poor character isn’t completely human as far as I can see. She’s more of a super saint.

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  2. Genre, SF … if the science, (or magic systems for fantasy) even if it’s made up, is poorly thought out.
    … the writer uses tropes from the (worst of) ‘Golden Age’ of SF, or the ‘boy’s own’ ones.
    … poor editing. I overlook a few typos, that happens to us all, but poor editing and layout will throw me out of a story faster than anything else, and once that happens, 9 times out of 10, I stay gone.

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  3. The jumping around gets me the most… I once tried o read a book that was written from 3 people’s perspective and they weren’t always talking about the same thing…. one min. you were doing 1 thing then in the middle it flipped to another person doing something totally different without a clear idea of who the new person was or why we ended up there… It’s the only book I never made it past the first chapter.

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