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20 June 2008 @ 08:13 am
Out of My Comfort Zone Meme Answer #1  
beanpot asked me: What are the things (if any) that make you put down a book and walk away?

That is a good question. I don't read as much as I should, since having been corrupted by fanfic and lost in the world of non-fiction. (Though, my plan is to remedy this starting next month. Yay for more reading again!)

That said, to be honest, it is very rare that I put down a book and walk away. Even the crappy ones I will read to the end. Maybe it's my stubbornness or my need to know how it ends no matter how bad it is.

Now, sometimes I will put a book down and due to time constraints don't pick it back up for a long time. It's rare, but when that happens it's usually because:

1. Thickly written accents. Look, I appreciate that you want to show your characters have accents, But it's hard to read and it breaks the pace for me.

2. Long, long, long passages of description. I honestly don't care about the history of ivy. Seriously.

Those are just two examples. And I read those two books to the end even if it pained me to do so.

But I can see myself putting a book down and never going back if the author romanticized rape, incest, or any kind of child abuse. I'll pass, thanks.

I'll answer the other questions in a bit. If you still want to ask me anything, please do so here: http://moonshayde.livejournal.com/429555.html

Please feel free to also link me to yours -- I'm behind on the LJ fun stuff -- that way I can do the same for you :)
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Pepper: Peculiar bent of my naturepepper_field on June 20th, 2008 01:27 pm (UTC)
Long, long, long passages of description. I honestly don't care about the history of ivy. Seriously.

Ahaha! I was talking about that with Aurora yesterday. I think we decided that long, intricate description is fine for poetry (if you're writing a poem about a nightingale, say, and want to expound at length on how lovely its song is - all well and good), but generally extremely tedious to wade through in stories. I certainly haven't the patience.

Do you think reading fanfic has changed your expectations? I know it has for me. I have to reacclimatise to reading books - I'm expecting snappy dialogue and lots of white space. :)
Working for the Mandroid: Steadfastmoonshayde on June 20th, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC)
Do you think reading fanfic has changed your expectations?

I think about this a lot, actually. I'm going to come at this through a writer's pov for a second, though it applies to readership as well.

Fanfic has done so many positives for me. It's helped me create better stories. I've plotted more. I've becomes more focused on stroytelling. And I would have never become published if I hadn't done fanfic first.

Fanfic has helped me streamline my writing and cut out a lot of stuff that really doesn't add to the story.

However, fanfic has such a focus on dialogue that it has hurt me in other areas. I don't like to think it does, but it has. I have a tendency toward dialogue anyway, and fanfic just feed into that. So gone are my pages and pages of description and in its place or bits of snappy dialogue.

I like to read it as well.

When I sit down to read a book, I want the dialogue I've always wanted, but from fanfic, it's just made the demand even greater. In a sense, as both a reader and a writer, I do have to reacclimatise to reading books.

Yet, I still have no desire to read huge descriptive passages. They have always bored me. There is a difference between good description that adds and fleshes out a book, and bad description that makes you skim until you're cross-eyed. If you can describe something with some personality and pizzaz, then I will like it. But if it's not filled with character or if it doesn't really lend itself to the world building or the plot, please don't take a page to talk about it.

Also, why do you have an icon of Mary Wollstonecraft?
Pepper: Peculiar bent of my naturepepper_field on June 20th, 2008 05:42 pm (UTC)
Interesting. I think you're right, fanfic has a definite streamlining effect. It's the modern novel style, too - writing long descriptive passages is very 19th century, and it feels a bit like modern writers and readers often don't see the point of doing that.

I'm in two minds, myself. Sometimes I like reading pages and pages without dialogue - if I'm in the right mood, and of course, if it's good. Preferably not in fanfic, though, because I can't get my brain to stop and focus on enjoying it (particularly when I'm reading it on a screen), but when I'm in the right mood, I can wallow in the stuff.

:D And, yay for recognising Mary Wollstonecraft! Well, partly because I like the line quoted - "You know I am not born to tread in the beaten track — the peculiar bent of my nature pushes me on." And partly because she's always interested me. Mother of the writer of Frankenstein, early feminist (kind of), utterly hopeless at getting her own life in order... Plus, my surname is very similar to hers, so I like to imagine we're distantly related. I have no evidence to back that up, but hey.
the rain not the fire: Misc ~ Writingplatysseus on June 20th, 2008 01:51 pm (UTC)
2. Long, long, long passages of description.
Ooh, I've got a whole chapter of just description in my trilogy. It was a tough one to write because of that - I do prefer writing dialogue - but it's the place where I can fit in a bit of the history and my own commentary on some of the characters (which involves sarcasm). :D

*will get to your questions soon* ;)
Working for the Mandroid: Driftmoonshayde on June 20th, 2008 03:47 pm (UTC)
I think it depends on the story and the type of description. Sometimes description is necessary. But if I fele like it's getting in the way of the pace and flow of the story, then I get testy. Plus, it can take away from the plot. However, you can't just have a story with all dialogue either.

I'm a dialogue writer and reader, which is very problematic in some literary circles I've noticed. But it's who I am and what I like. But description done right can be just as engaging ;)
Karalaine: have you hugged your drd today?ausiewanab on June 20th, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
I do the same thing with books. I've been known to put a book down and get bored with it, and not pick it up for a year and then finish it. But I'm also bad that I have about 3 books going at one time
Working for the Mandroid: Floormoonshayde on June 20th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
Ha! I have done the same thing. Sometimes it takes me years and then I'm back to it and have like several books going at the same time.

I don't learn.
beanpotbeanpot on June 20th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
Oh I agree on the "accent". I find that people tend to do it more with a Scottish/Cockney/various English accents. Rarely do I see them trying to write a German speaking English.

Either way - it can drive me nuts.
Working for the Mandroid: Egyptmoonshayde on June 20th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC)
It's true. I mean, I've also seen bad French and a US "Southern" accent from time to time. They aren't fantastic, but no way to they come close to the usage of Scottish/Cockney/whatever. There was this fantasy series I couldn't finish because everyone spoke in the Scottish accent. I couldn't. I finished the book, because I always finish the book, but I dumped the series. I wasn't enjoying myself.

But you're right. You don't see anyone doing that to Germans or Italians or something.
Pepper: Hmmpepper_field on June 20th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
But you're right. You don't see anyone doing that to Germans or Italians or something.

Didn't Louisa Allcott do it to Frederick Bhaer in 'Little Women'? I always picture him as having a heavy German accent, anyhow - I can't recall if it's actually in the dialogue or not.

Not contradicting you both, though - I think you're right, it's most often with Scottish and Cockney and all those. Particularly with Scottish. 'Trainspotting', OMG. But then again, the Scottish way of speaking is so totally different from the English, that it's like a whole other set of words. So it's kind of odd not to write it that way.