Check Out the Cool Kids

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday Writer Club: What do readers think?

If you're like me, you follow a lot of writer's blog.  There's lots of great information out there about honing the craft and making sure that your work is the best that you can make it.

Then I started wondering, but what about the readers?  The ones that aren't trying to plan for NaNo or know the right name for literary elements?

Surely those people have a completely different experience while reading a book than someone who's constantly on the look out for inspiration (either good or the "I can do better than this" variety).

With that in mind, periodically I'm going to interview pure readers.  Those that just read for the fun of it without any ulterior motives.  First up, is my husband (otherwise known around hear as the Bear):

What first got you started enjoying reading?
The Wheel of Time series. A friend introduced me to them.

What types of books, magazines, etc. do you like the most?
I enjoy cheap fantasy (magic type) novels that have simple story lines and interesting characters.  I’m also prone to reading just about anything that will make me laugh.  I’ve also recently discovered a love of post apocalyptic zombie survival stories.  Hmmm...what if there was a survival story from the zombies POV?  That could be fun.

Why do these genres interest you?
Zombies and Magic?   DUH!

What have you been reading lately that you loved?
I absolutely love Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.  It was funny and interesting and frankly it was so good I’ve considered reading an actual biography of Lincoln.

What made you love it?
I loved that the whole premise of the Civil War was that there were “good” vampires in the  north that wanted to stop the “evil” vampires in the south from using the slave trade as an all you can eat buffet.  I also loved the characterization of Lincoln in general.  He’s extremely personable and still has some regalness to him that makes you really believe in his ability to lead our country.

What have you been reading lately that you didn't care for?
I’m currently reading the final trilogy in the Sword of Truth series and I have to say, while the rest of the series hasn’t really been a gem, this first book (Chainfire), really kind of sucks. It’s got EXTREMELY repetitive theme’s and the main character isn’t interesting.  He’s very single minded by I can only read about how worried he is about X thing so many times on the same page

If you don't care for the series in general, why have you kept reading it?
Well the plot isn't bad, it's just the characters. And it's not even all the character. Even the bad ones aren't bad all the time. Plus at this point, I'm invested.

What advice would you give the author of this book?
When it comes to describing the emotions of a given character, make it to the point and concise.  Nothing will drag down the momentum of a story like the constant whining of a character who is supposed to be a hero...I’m looking at you Richard.  We know you’re worried about Kahlan, why don’t you do something about it FFS?

In general, what makes you pick up a book?
A variety of things.  More often than not I read based on recommendation.  Sometimes I read things that I think I might like based on other interests I have (ex - Warcraft novels because I played WoW or Star Wars books).  Sometimes the cover art just looks cool and that gets me to pick it up.

What will keep you reading a book?
Generally speaking I’m not fond of over characterization.  I like my characters to be somewhat simple yet likable.  I’m usually much more interested in plot and how it moves forward.  I like to think about how a given character will react to certain situations.  The more situations and the more complex they are the more likely I am to continue reading.

There you have it folks. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Recommendations from friends are really important
  • Make sure you balance an interesting plot with your characterization
  • You can't fail with Zombie and Magic (well, with a certain population at least)


Anonymous said...

Great idea! Love seeing a readers POV.

Hannah said...

This is why I don't like much of the YA that has come out lately. A ton of it is all about the character's inner monologue and the stories and plot are often very weak and not thought out. So I'm extremely picky with what I read, Adult and YA included.

Witless Exposition said...

@kimmullican--Thanks! I'm hoping to make it a regular feature.

Carol Riggs said...

Very interesting! "Pure" readers--there really are such thing? LOL I've been hanging out with writers who read books in a TOTALLY diff way. I wonder if guys are more fond of plot than characters, however. Just a thought!

Unknown said...

On the surface I'd say generally speaking that I do like more plot driven stories vs. characterization. However, having just read Game of Thrones, which is heavy on the characterization, I think I'm realizing I just don't like repetitive/crappy characterization.

mshatch said...

lol. love that take - especially about the sword of truth which I read an age ago. It could've done with a bit more editing perhaps.

Alice Audrey said...

Aren't there a couple of movies from the zombie's POV? I vaguely remember one which alternated between color and black and white, but I can't remember the title.

BTW, did you notice this?

Witless Exposition said...

@Alice--I think there are several right now, since zombies are apparently the next big thing. I've noticed my Netflix getting flooded with them.

Thanks for featuring me on the Serialists! Hopefully I'll be able to get one up in time next week.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...