Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rant Day


Hello, and welcome to Tabby's Nocturnal Nights. Today I feel the need to rant.

Okay, so this passed weekend, I found I had some time to myself. My MS is being beta read so I decided to put off anymore edits until I heard back from my readers. I thought about what I was in the mood for. I wanted to read, lose myself in a good paranormal romance novel. I stopped at the drugstore—yeah, I know, not a lot to choose from there book-wise, but I didn't feel like driving half an hour to a book store. I picked up a novel and read the blurb. Huh, interesting. Intrigued me. The cover had a hot guys chest on it. How can I lose, right?

Well, I came home, excited to read, something I haven't done in awhile. I changed into my PJ's, sat in my comfy chair, and opened the cover. Okay, so the first page wasn't totally gripping, that's okay, I don't need the first page to GRAB me like some. I had faith . . . until I struggled through to the end of chapter 4. Into the closet it goes with all the other novels I couldn't finish over the years. I'm a little annoyed. It cost me $9.99 Canadian.

So, let me explain what was going on. The story from what I can tell is good, but I can't concentrate on it because the writing keeps tossing me out of the story. The rules that were broken, and often, were so glaring it was unreadable to me. Now I'm all for breaking some writing rules, but only when it works.

Here is an example of what it read like—no, I'm not using anything from the actual novel. This is just an example.

Josh said, “blah, blah, blah.”

Nicole said, “Blah, blah, blah.”

Josh answered. “Blah, blah, blah.”

And on and on it went. And the redundancy was crazy. I got it the first three times it was explained. Now I understand when my crit partners would highlight a section in my MS and put RUE beside it: Resist the urge to explain. The first chapter was also riddled with back story where it could have been woven throughout.

I flipped through the book and skimmed and found pov slip ups—no, it wasn't written omni—and much more.

I guess what really threw me for a loop is that we agonize over getting our novels just right, and then I read a novel like this and I shake my head. Most if not all of what I saw would have been caught by my crit partners.

But I will continue editing and learning to make my novel the best it can be because I don't want a reader to toss my novel in the back of their closet because they couldn't continue reading it.

Have any of you come across novels like this that you can't finish reading? Also, do you find it harder to sit and enjoy a novel because you are a writer?

I'd love to hear from you.


Tabitha Blake said...

I know what you mean. I read one not that long ago with a sex scene that just through me for a loop. In one paragraph the hero takes the heroine's panties off and in the next paragraph she is still wearing them. I was like WTF? How did that slip by? Then I just finished one that was a great story but she was ! crazy. I felt like her character's were running around screaming all the time. She used them totally out of context. Nothing exciting was happening but they were still yelling. It continually pulled me from the story. I couldn't understand why they were yelling all the time. If a new author tried that kind of thing we would get tossed out on our ear. But at least we know what not to do. Great blog and this is something I really hate. Maybe we are a little harsher as fellow writers but if you are a best seller I expect more from you. Just my thoughts on it.

Brenda said...

LOL, let's call that the yelling novel. The characters don't know how to talk normal. I laughed so hard when I read the part about the author going through great pains to show the hero stripping off the heroine's panties, only for them to be back on in the next paragraph. that is great!!!!
Yep, mistakes, sure, things happen. But I too expect more from a bestselling author.
Like the over use of exclamation marks is a no, no. So I have been taught anyway.