Tuesday, January 5, 2021

IWSG - January 2021

It's the first Wednesday of the month (and of 2021) so it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group...  

This month's question is a great one!

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?

There are a number of things that will pull me out of a book I'm reading, but number one on the list is poor editing.  If I find spelling and grammar mistakes, tense changes or slips in the POV, I'm instantly thrown out of the story.  I'll usually persevere if it's a single error, but once I've found more than a couple of these lapses, I'm unlikely to finish the book because I know it will keep tossing me out of the story and be more frustrating than enjoyable.

Another thing that bugs me a lot when I'm reading is when characters do things that aren't in line with their personalities just because it's useful for moving the plot forward.  It's immensely frustrating when an author has given you a well drawn character and then they act in a way that character just wouldn't in that circumstance.  It makes me lose faith in the author.  I might not stop reading the book, but it certainly does make me pause and think about it.

I also don't like too much coincidence in a book, especially when those coincidences make things easier for the characters.  Yes, there are often odd coincidences in life, but in a book, when things come easy for the characters as a result of some well-placed coincidences, it annoys me.  Again, maybe not enough to make me quit reading, but enough that I probably wouldn't rate that book so highly.

What are the things that bug you while reading?


  1. Obviously I’ll be writing up a response to the same question, so I can’t answer it here.

  2. These are awesome reasons. I absolutely cannot read an poorly edited book.

  3. Coincidence. That's always a big one, isn't it? I find I write that in margins a lot—both in manuscripts I'm writing as well as in those I'm critiquing for others.

  4. Good points. If I find typos by an author I know, I try to let them know and hope they'll do the same.
    Wishing you a Wonderful-Writing New Year.

  5. Grammar always does it for me. I can usually press on if it's once or twice. Content-wise, I'm usually I'm able to ignore everything unless the characters are just so cliched that I can't tolerate them.

  6. Oh boy, I can't narrow down what throws me out of a story to just one thing though all I could see at the time is suspending my disbelief just because the author says to without backing it up--for example, characters doing things out of character. Think Tall Girl from Netflix. Her love interest made a sudden turn at the end and it feels so forced that it spoiled the whole story for me. Like Disney with the shock factor in Frozen with Anna's love interest. I mean, really? Ugh!

    yeah, poor editing is another. ha!

    ♥.•*¨Elizabeth Mueller¨*•.♥

  7. Coincidences might happen in real life but no one believes them in fiction.