I’ve had a much harder time lately finding something I want to read. In some cases it seems to have to do with changing tastes. I may have enjoyed a book one to three years ago, but now that the next book in the trilogy is out, I’m no longer interested.
In other cases, the premise of the book interests me enough to start reading but I don’t make it past the first few chapters. Sometimes, I make it to the end of the book because I’m curious about how it all turns out even though I haven’t enjoyed the reading experience, but I won’t pick up the sequel. Below are the common reasons.
- The beginning doesn’t hook me and doesn’t live up to the promise of the jacket flap.
- The writing is poor. Too much passive voice, the voice doesn’t match the age of the character, repetitive words. (This occurs in both indie-published and traditionally-published work, as do all of the reasons listed here.)
- I can’t relate to the main character.
- The main character doesn’t change by the end of the book, or s/he doesn’t solve what seems to be the story problem.
On the other hand, desperation has led me to take some chances in choosing reading material, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Some gambles pay off.
So, my piece of advice for today is, don’t let all the coal keep you from continuing your search for the diamonds. And of course, as writers, we need to hook the reader from the beginning, write well, make the main character relatable, make sure s/he changes over the course of the story, and s/he must solve the story problem.
What book surprised you recently?