Friday, July 31, 2009

Fiction Friday: What's the One Thing?

To while away the time until we can start playing "finish this prompt" again, I thought I'd try to gather some intell to help me improve my writing.

Today's question: What one thing will stop you in your tracks when you're reading?


  1. I'm not sufficiently caffeinated yet to answer this intelligently. You mean something that would make me stop reading? Maybe conversation that doesn't flow like real conversation as in, too much he said, she said.
    I also don't like it when I feel that the author doesn't know the subject well. I have always heard, "Write what you know".
    OK now for my 2nd cup of coffee. I will come back later if I think of something better to say. Have a good Friday!

  2. If I'm reading, the one thing that will always stop me in my tracks is if a child walks up to me and wants my attention. I drop everything for my nieces and nephews.

    But I suspect you mean what will stop me in the text if I'm reading...In that case, if the book is boring, that pretty much seals the deal on the book closing.

  3. A naked woman, who would walk in the room and ask; "What are you reading?"

  4. there are a few - bad grammar, bad use of tense, switching from first person to third person and back again - for example: doggybloggy likes to cook, I cook a variety of things and he comes from New Mexico. Wrong word choices and least but last terrible spelling - I can tollerate (LOL) bad spelling just not tearable! oh and rambling thoughts (a lot like this comment)

  5. I don't care for an author who will go to extremes to use 10 dollar words. I think that the best is to keep it simple, I don't want to have to put down my book every page to consult my dictionary.

  6. It's the jaw-dropping effect.

    During the jaw drop, I start checking myself to see when and where I missed the subtle hints the author might have left.

    The perfect example is the wedding band dropping to the floor scene in The Sixth Sense with Bruce Willis.

    I love it when, even early in the story, the writer makes me comfortable, my defenses are down, then I get assaulted, abused, beat up, blown away....when I didn't see it coming!

  7. A wicked stare from my husband. . . or a tornado. . . whichever comes first. . .

  8. Really unexpected plot jumps get me.

    I hate when the story ends with a random concidence that seems just a little too neat.

  9. My toddler screaming....OK, maybe not. LOL!

    Just kidding!

  10. K,

    Tonight, in the Memorial Garden itself,as the crepe myrtle blooms reflect the southern sunset...E rolled to his right, and said, " Thank you. Thankyouverymuch, K."

    Sometimes a writer inhales the air of inquisition and spits out the sermon of factuality.

    Nice commment, K...

    Wouldn't you say so Jeanne?

  11. And text which is too rich and descriptive - its like chewing nails for me. I like easy reading - simple language.

  12. Head hopping! those switching POV's all over creation! Stick to one POV in a chapter!

    Also, too much narration where there is a lot of telling and no dialogue or action to help break it up - I can handle some narration - but if chapter after chapter is mostly narrative, I tend to zone out.

  13. Spelling errors. Oy. The ones I find especially troubling are those that could have been caught by a simple spellcheck. To/two/too confusion annoys me, but at least I can tell myself that although the author probably attempted to check the spelling, the program wasn't sophisticated enough to catch a correct spelling of the wrong word.

    The other stopper for me is that "Who is she talking about?" moment that occurs when a character is dredged up from a long-past chapter and reinserted into the story. In the good old days, authors listed their characters at the beginning of the book, so that the reader could refresh her memory. That wasn't a bad idea.

  14. The question stop me going to the next post, think for awhile, drop a line or two, then go to the nxt post. Had fun reading your blog:) thnx.


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