I am half way through a best selling novel and I must pause to reflect. I remember when I strictly read for enjoyment; when I did not care where the story went as long as I was entertained.
Apparently those days are over. When I crossed over that line from reader to writer, something happened to my reader radar. Not intentionally, but now I critique every book I read.
In this particular best seller, I would have quit reading eleven chapters ago if this was not a book club read that I need to discuss next month. Without naming the novel, it took until chapter thirteen to reveal the plot. For twelve chapters I kept trying to figure out why and where was this story going. There appeared to be no goal for the protagonists, no motivation to do anything and no conflict.
I must confess. I had to find out how this author got away with this gross error in our unwritten laws of writing. The answer is: wait for it, it is his fourth book. He obviously had a book deal. I can not imagine any new writer getting a chance in hell with a book that actually begins on chapter thirteen. True, the writer is witty, and outrageous enough to make for good conversation, but seriously? Thirteen chapters in?
The other thing I noticed were the forty five word sentences. What? So much for the test of a proper length of a sentence being if you can read it aloud without taking a breath.
This is one of those cases where once you are established you can break all the rules. For my fellow authors, has writing ruined you from strictly enjoying a book without picking it apart? Do rules broken jump off the page at you? Or am I perhaps just a bit jealous that others can get away with what I can not. I would love to hear from you.