A few months ago I reached the peak of my reading snobbery. It got so bad that before downloading a book onto my Nook, I'd look to see who the publisher was (approved publishers being Bethany House, Tyndale House, Revell, and Zondervon), even if the book was free. If the book was indie published or published by a small or unknown house, I wouldn't "waste my time." I'm so glad I finally got my pert little nose out of the air or I would have missed out on some terrific books...and maybe not have subjected myself to books that should have been great but made me cringe as I read them. Don't believe me that indie and small houses can put out good books? Check out Tamara Leigh and Sandi Rog.
Don't get me wrong, I can still be pretty snobbish when reading. Here are a few things that make me roll my eyes, or worse, put a book down.
I'm guilty of this in my own writing, but my lovely critique partners will highlight any similar words too close together. Professional editors should pick up when a word is repeated two or three times in one paragraph. It's like with my kids. The first time they said mama I was over the moon. My 3 year old says it so often now (read constantly!) that by the end of the day I'm ready to change my name.
Rhetorical questions are supposed to be a sign of deep POV (point of view), right? But instead it seems some authors take a statement, tack on the word "right" at the end, and turn it into a question, don't they? You can see how this can get annoying, don't you?
When I was a little girl I used to play with paper dolls. It was fun to punch out the clothes and dress the dolls by folding back the tabs along the edges. The problem was that even if you got the bases the dolls were supposed to stand in just right, 9 times out of 10 they'd still topple over.
If a character in a book in paper doll thin, he/she won't be able to stand on their own. I want to read about characters I love to love and love to hate. Characters I can relate to, even a little, or wish I was more like. For me a well-written, well-developed character will make me want to keep reading even if the story has other flaws. On the other hand, a poorly developed character...well, who wants to read about them?
I just skim long, introspective paragraphs that interrupt flow to get back to the story. Enough said.
What about you? I know I'm not the only reading snob out there. What's one of your confessions?
Sarah Monzon is a pastor's wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn't enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. When she isn't in the world of make believe, she can be found in a small desert town in central Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.