Wednesday, January 6, 2021

IWSG: What Makes Me Stop Reading?

It's time for the monthly IWSG posting! 

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.   

January 6 question - Being a writer, when you're reading someone else's work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people's books? 
 
The awesome co-hosts for the January 6 posting of the IWSG are Ronel Janse van Vuuren , J Lenni Dorner, Gwen Gardner Sandra Cox, and Louise - Fundy Blue!

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This is a question I've actually addressed before, but it's one well worth revisiting, and I don't have much to say about my own writing, so...

Some books I quit in annoyance, and know I'm quitting--if the writing is just not good, or the story gets gruesome or the like. Other books I set aside and realize that I just somehow never got back to them. Those often require a second look (and often when I'm in a different mood, I'll finish them).  

Here's a list of things that can ruin a story for me:

  • poor writing/editing (abuse of the English language)
  • anachronisms. If you are writing medieval fantasy and people are looking at clocks and using centimeters, I'll get annoyed.
  • wrong kind of story for me. Obviously this isn't something a writer needs to fix.
  • breaking the "fourth wall" with history/geography/language lessons or backstory thinly disguised as dialog or--worse--musing by a character.
  • lack of any likable/relatable characters. If everyone is too bad or too good, I'll probably quit.

Pretty sure I could go on, but that will do!


 December writing report:

We had a holiday, and I had company. Very very little writing, editing, or even blogging happened this month. That means that after getting my holiday story collection out at the beginning of the month, I ground to a halt with the other 3 collections that close to finished. I've also gotten feedback from several beta readers on my new Pismawallops PTA mystery, so that's waiting for my attention. I've only gotten back at it starting on New Year's Eve (because what else do you do with a holiday that's about parties, when you can't party, and about being with your loved ones, when they aren't around?), but I'm hitting the ground running! Well, okay, I'm continuing my hobble/crawl/ooze in the direction of productivity. The newest short-story collection goes live shortly, and I'm on to the next collection, Wizard Libraries and Dragon Archives.

 
This one is already live:


 

20 comments:

  1. Congrats on all your book news. Let me know if you want me to mention your next release in Follower News. I'm glad you had someone to be with for the holidays. The first year after a loss can be a hard one. And I agree with you, that sometimes the reason I put down a book is that I'm not in the right mood for it. That's happened way more since my husband died.

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    1. Natalie, I'd love to have a mention from you! And yes, there's something about grieving... I've been unable to finish a couple of books because they set off triggers, or were just too painful. And my focus is pretty bad, so I'm doing best with rereading old favorites.

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  2. Hi Rebecca - I admire you ... those two books look great ... and I'm so pleased you were able to get a holiday in.

    I can't take a weak ending - puts me off the author ... all the best as this year starts its journey - Hilary

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    1. Agree about hating and ending that just sits there! Or, with mysteries, one that leaves heaps of stuff unexplained, or just jumps to a confession.

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  3. There's been more than few times I've put aside a book and life got busy and I never got back around to the book. When I do finally think of it, I'm reading something else so it gets put off longer.

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    1. yeah, that happens! Or I check out too many from the library and so something expires before I finish, and I forget to go back to it, or the wait list is weeks or months so I forget about it.

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  4. The books look great. If you need a shout-out, feel free to poke me, and I'm glad you got through your holidays with company.

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    1. Thank you! I'd love a shout-out any time. I've done zero marketing with these--they were really just something to keep me going when I discovered I couldn't start a new novel in November.

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  5. Glad you got a vacation. I snuck a vacation in too. Well, a staycation. But San Diego has beaches and mountains so we managed.

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    1. This time I stayed here and the family came to me. Just as disruptive to work, but a break from all the driving!

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  6. Congrats on your book news!

    I've definitely put aside books and never got back to them. Usually that means I didn't like it, but occasionally it happens even with a book that I know I will like, but I just don't have the time to really sit and enjoy it then and there. It ends up getting up shelved, and it takes weeks or even months before I come back to it.

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    1. Yeah, that's happened to me, too. Just for some reason it didn't work at that instant, and I sort of wander off...

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  7. Am glad you were able to squeeze in a holiday with all this madness around. Taking a breather does help. Congratulations on the books!

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  8. A break for the holidays is in order after the year we've had.

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    1. I have no idea what is in order anymore. After this week? Maybe I should be digging a bunker in the back yard (that would be a good workout, anyway!).

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  9. I'm so excited to hear that there's another Pismawallops PTA mystery on the way! I can't wait to read it. Let me know if you need any help once you're ready to release with a review, blog shout-out etc. :)

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    1. I will! I think I should be arranging a cover reveal soon :) My marketing plans are never very sound, and this time it's worse than ever, but I'll try :)

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  10. Hi, Rebecca! I'm so glad to hear that you have just started working on beta feedback on Donuts. I feel so badly about being delinquent in getting back to you. I'm halfway through reading Donuts for the third time, and I will be in touch with you in the next few days. Your Pismawallops mystery is great fun!!! I know what it is like to live on a small, foggy island, and I've lived in a number of very small places. For sure I'll write a review and a do blog post when Donuts is released. Good luck with your editing!

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm still playing with the flash fiction (making the covers has been fun!) so you're still good :)

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