Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What Makes You Stop Reading?

Whether you read fiction or non- fiction books, some books you just can't seem to read to the end. What makes you stop reading? This must be the most prominent question in a writer's mind along with the question: "What makes you keep reading?"

Consider the following:

  1. If you find a specific scène in your novel boring, chances are that your readers will do so as well. It might make them stop reading!
  2. If your protagonist changes into a boring, predictable character, readers will get bored and...stop reading.
  3. If the storyline or plot of your novel is overused and done a million times before and you haven't added some element to create a fresh approach, readers might stop reading.
A good test of your own work is to wait a couple of days or even weeks after writing a scène or chapter and then go back to it to read with fresh eyes. If you stop reading or find it boring and predictable, you have work to do because your readers will undoubtedly feel the same. This is one technique taught by various writing schools as part of self - editing your work.

That said, we should all remember that, lucky for us writers, people have varying tastes in literature and life and not everyone will stop reading. But why take the risk, if you could minimize the chance of bad publicity by only following your own tastes and keeping your work fresh and exciting.

For a glossary of relevant terms relating to writing, see Nathan Bransford's blog.

Above all - keep writing!

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