Chuck Wendig's Reasons to Stop Reading

  • 3 Replies
  • 217 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

*

kherezae

  • mad jack
  • Administrator
  • Expert
  • *****
  • 430
    • View Profile
    • My Wattpad
Chuck Wendig's Reasons to Stop Reading
« on: August 11, 2016, 02:50:40 PM »
Someone shared this in... I think the NaNo group on Facebook? Chuck Wendig blogged about 25 Reasons he stopped reading your book, whether published or unpublished.

I found it interesting because I've read Wendig -- he's writing the Star Wars: Aftermath books -- and he writes third person present tense. Reading his list, I find I agree with his reasons. Pacing and momentum in particular are important to me.

What about you all? What makes you put down a book? Also, because I'm curious, does your reasoning differ between published stuff and free online stuff? I think I'm a little pickier when it comes to stuff on Wattpad. It doesn't make much sense, as it's free, so it's not like choosing how best to spend my money.

*

Sandy

  • Apprentice
  • **
  • 86
  • probably haunting you right now
    • View Profile
    • My Artblog
Re: Chuck Wendig's Reasons to Stop Reading
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2016, 03:14:20 PM »
Gosh, yes, I definitely agree with this list. Especially 16-19 and 23-25.

Like we've discussed before, I just don't have the time or energy to put into stories I don't like. (Even if they're supposed to be 'classics' of such and such genre.) If people want to assign books to themselves like they need to do a paper on it at the end of the month, that's their business, but I'm already a grad student, and I have enough depression as-is, so I'll just stick to things I actually enjoy, thank you.

I especially, especially agree with 16 though. I can't get interested in a book where the protagonist is an unforgivable jerk. Redemption arcs for rapist characters just feel like they're glossing over how completely horrible the action was.

I really like redemption stories, but I only really accept that if the character went down a bad path for a good reason, and recognizes it. If 90s Magneto had sat back and said "Wow I'm really starting to sound like the guys who killed my parents, we need to have a talk about how to deal with the fact that humans keep killing us in a more constructive way" I would have been 100% on board. Magneto's backstory is well established, and his decisions with regard to the situations he was facing made sense, even if they often ended up hurting innocents.

 If they're just an ass who actively does disgusting things, I just want someone to show up and murder them. I hate the Joker as a character, because he has no backstory and is just an annoying, over-hyped pile of flat garbage. If someone gave him a redemption story where he somehow earned Harley Quinn's affection for real, I'd call total BS and smack them with their own comic. (Harley can have all the redemption arcs she wants. Preferably with Ivy.)

Added:

I am way pickier with paid stuff. Free online writing tends to at least have decent smut. I've struggled through a lot of free writing that has made me want to vomit way longer than I should have.
Mostly I make up for this by not having very high expectations out of published material. I basically just know for a fact that it's going to be heterosexual, the romance is going to be hollow af, and if I'm lucky the plot will make up for it. I've put way too much time and effort into books that claim they're for LGBT audiences, just to have them turn out to be either really badly written by someone who subconsciously doesn't really understand that gay people are just real normal people, or SUPER DEPRESSING books written so straight ppl can feel sad about us.
On the other hand I got like 20 chapters (probably somewhere around about 16000 words?) into a fanfic that was extremely insulting about mental illness, and had a romance plot that made Christian Grey from 50 shades look like a supportive and healthy partner for Ana. (I will gladly discuss BAD DEPICTIONS OF MENTAL ILLNESS or ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP DYNAMICS with anyone who wants, can even start a thread for it if you ask.)
« Last Edit: August 11, 2016, 03:21:34 PM by Sandy »

*

kherezae

  • mad jack
  • Administrator
  • Expert
  • *****
  • 430
    • View Profile
    • My Wattpad
Re: Chuck Wendig's Reasons to Stop Reading
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2016, 03:22:35 PM »
I totally agree with you, Sandy. I prefer my bad guys on the gray scale. In fact, that's a pretty major turn-off for me in a book: a bad guy who's evil to be evil, or whose philosophy is too flimsy to be a believable motivator for doing the dark things they do. Basically "Everyone is the hero of their own story" -- no idea where that quote came from, but I've seen it often enough, and it's perfect for my view on how villains (and characterization in general) should be handled.

Which is probably part of the success behind Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. You can totally see where the characters on all sides are coming from, even if you don't agree with all of them and find some of them to be despicable. At least they feel real.

*

Jedi Knight Muse

  • A muse that's a Jedi
  • Administrator
  • Master
  • *****
  • 2033
    • View Profile
Re: Chuck Wendig's Reasons to Stop Reading
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2016, 09:44:39 PM »
I don't read enough stuff on Wattpad (or Figment/Fictionpress and I don't go on Ao3) to really be able to be able to pin anything that makes me stop reading something on those sites. I mean, sometimes it's small things like "oops, this is actually about vampires and I don't like reading about vampires," or bigger things like "wow, this is kind of badly written, I'm done reading it now." (There's a fair amount of that on Figment, due to the fact that Figment is filled with a lot of writers who are just writing as a hobby and don't go crazy editing their stories before putting it up there. Wattpad seems to have more serious writers, at least.)

For a book I've bought...I mean, I can't even say much because I haven't read much in the last two years. There's the third book in the fantasy trilogy by one of my favorite authors that I've been trying to read for over a year...I love her writing and I love her stories and I love the trilogy. There isn't really one thing about the book that's kept me from finishing it, though I have kind of lost my desire a bit to read it. At this point I really need to, though, because of it being the third book in a trilogy that I enjoy reading.

Storms of Magic - Draft 1