Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Kill Your Darlings

I don't know if it's Lyme or old age, but I've become hyper-picky about the books I read. I have no patience for books that are not well written and/or not well edited.

I've mentioned before that the book mobile parks across the street from my house every two weeks, and I check out at least ten books each time I go. It's nice not to have to buy books all the time, and I read A LOT. I also have quite a few books on my Kindle account, but I don't have a kindle, so if I want to read them, I have to read them on my phone. I hate reading on my phone.

Anyhoo, in the past couple of months I have picked up quite a few YA books that I have put right back down after reading one chapter. I figure, if you can't hook me by then, you're sorry out of luck. Most of the time the premise is good, but the editing is not, and I get so frustrated with noticing mistakes that I can't keep reading. It makes me want to scream and throw the book across the room. (Unless I'm reading on my phone.)

The first and most noticeable mistakes I see are the adverbs. People, I know we love them, and we think they make the sentence so much better, but I promise, they don't. They are irritating unless used sparingly. When I read a book with super long sentences and tons of adverbs, I think, what the crap is wrong with this editor? This book was published and an editor had to have gone through it. They didn't cross those dang adverbs out? Why? Are they in too much of a hurry to really read the story? Don't they care? Don't they realize the book could be so much better? I can't be the only person to notice.

But, maybe I am. Maybe Lyme has totally corroded my brain. I supposed that is possible.

The reason I am writing this post is because I starting reading  The Woodlands, (click on title to find it on Amazon) by Lauren Nichole Taylor, and was sucked right in from the very beginning. I kept waiting to find something that would bother me. (old habits and all). Lauren's book caught and held my attention. I was pleasantly surprised (I know this makes me sound like a snob) to want to keep reading. I'm only part way through the second chapter, but I am loving it so far. Truly. It doesn't take me long to know if I'm going to like a book or not, and I'm going to like this one.

So kudos to great writing. Wonderful job, Lauren, and may more YA writers fall into the "great writing" category.

Hopefully, I'm one of them. :)

4 comments:

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

After reading this post, I went to Amazon and got a free Kindle copy. I'm always on the lookout for a good read, and I generally go by recommendation, unless I'm browsing in a bookstore or hear of a new release by a favorite author. You are so right about those adverbs!

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Kris said...

Haven't checked in for a while. I think being picky about books is both Lyme and age. Hard enough to concentrate on a good book, let alone a bad book when you have Lyme. On the other hand, age makes me feel like wasting less time on things I don't really enjoy, so I'd say you hit the nail on the head.

By the way, you look great! Love the long hair. I'm a terrible reader, a bit hyperactive, but I'm determined to pick up one of your books. Have a great day/night!

Anonymous said...

You are right, The Woodlands, is very well written. One of the best I've read in a while. The second book is just as wonderful!