Let’s Talk: Reading Style (28)

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Let’s Talk is a meme hosted by Melissa at I Swim For Oceans.
It’s guided discussion on anything and everything to do with books and more!
Please drop by I Swim for Oceans to find other participants in Let’s Talk!

This week’s topic:

How would you define your overall reading style?

I’m a very analytical reader. I focus on details like good technical writing. The writing needs to be well-structured – no breaking writing rules because the author is all like FUCK THE SYSTEM, or simply doesn’t know how to grammatically put together a sentence, or the writer thinks their writing is omgsoamazingbeautiful that they throw weird metaphors or overly write their descriptions because no one will ever possibly think their writing isn’t unicornpoopmagic. No ‘ignore the writing, what do you think of the adventure/character?’ get-out-easy.

Some people have the gift. Some don’t.

If you’re going to put out a product, a professional product, whether it’s published by a big house or a small press, a vanity press, or self-published, the writing needs to be good. Not just good for you, but good in comparison to the masses of text already available to read. Usually this requires hiring an editor, but I have had the misfortune to attempt to read self-published ‘books’ (and I use the term lightly) where the author doesn’t even use the correct words, but instead uses homophones, or even words that sound familiar, like they’ve heard them on a TV show but have no idea how to spell it.

Like ‘pique’ someone’s interest, not ‘peak’ someone’s interest. ‘Manor house’ not ‘Manner house’.

Just no.

If I know the rules of writing then I expect actual writers to know. When I think I can do better, or I’m editing the book in my head as I read, I lose patience and gain frustration and am far more likely to not enjoy the book.

Some readers aren’t bothered by misspellings, bad punctuation, or incorrect grammar. Some readers aren’t bothered by plot holes or bad characterisation. All of it bothers me – although if the writing is beautiful enough, I can often forgive plot holes as ‘suspension of disbelief.’


About Nemo

A lover of kittens and all things sparkly, Nemo has a degree in English Literature and specialises in reviewing contemporary, paranormal, mystery/thriller, historical, sci-fi and fantasy Young Adult fiction. She is especially drawn to novels about princesses, strong female friendships, magical powers, and assassins.

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6 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: Reading Style (28)

  1. Melissa (i swim for oceans)

    Amen to the self-pubs there. I’ve always tried to support smaller authors since the start, but if you’re going to publish a book, do it well. Don’t do some half-assed, poorly-written, sordid excuse for literature, you know? I like the spin you took on this week’s topic! Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. whitleybirks

    “or the writer thinks their writing is omgsoamazingbeautiful that they throw weird metaphors or overly write their descriptions because no one will ever possibly think their writing isn’t unicornpoopmagic.” ILU

    Amen to the whole not being able to ignore the writing bit. I’ve never understand people who say to do that. Like, the adventure and the characters and all that are *created by the writing;* how can I enjoy that if the writing is flawed? If I’m supposed to just enjoy the *idea* of this character, I can probably find him better written somewhere else.

    1. Nemo

      It annoys me so much, it’s like they know their writing is shitty yet they don’t want anyone else to say it.

  3. derrolyn

    I’m a self-editing indie, and the first one to admit that I’m not always perfect, but even major publishing houses are not above screwing up. I read “Twilight” many years ago, but I’ll never forget the passage that mentioned dust “moats” swirling in the air. WTF? LOL!

    1. Nemo

      I know what you mean Derrolyn, but it is just so hard to edit one’s own work because your eyes tell you what you want to see. True, major publishing houses do also screw up, but in my experience not half as much as indie writers. I can excuse typos if there are a few, but the thing that really annoys me is when the writer doesn’t even use the correct word and substitutes heterographs (for anyone reading who is not a language nerd, that is the same sound, different spelling and meaning ). It really annoys me, and proves the writer doesn’t even know how to sue the English language.

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