Monday

Plots FTW

I had an epiphany the other day. Not sure where it came from, or why so sudden--I've been reading for a lot of years. But I think it's Kindle-related. And writing-related, of course.

Since I got my Kindle at Christmas, I've read a lot of books. I mean like 3-5 a week lot. I've never been the kind to put a book down--even the bad ones. Though, since I began writing, I've gotten a lot more choosy, and picky while I read. Lately, though, I've put a bunch of books "down." Last night, I was skimming through my books on the Kindle and noticed at least 10 on the first few pages that were partially read. (I'm not going to get into the self-pubbing aspect/debate of this, but yes the unfinished were all self-pubbed, except one. BUT, a good amount of the books I've read/finished/loved on my Kindle have been self-pubbed, too.)

Yet, there was one I read recently that I would have sworn I'd put down. But I didn't.

I'm highly character driven, and the characters were meh. They lacked chemistry and the heroine was wishy-washy. The writing was far to "telling" (big part of the characters lacking chemistry), which bogged the pace considerably. Still, I trudged on. Once finished, I debated why I'd stuck with it. I came to the conclusion that it was the strong plot. The characters were just enough that I vaguely rooted for them instead of not caring at all, but had it not been for that strong plot I would have put it down pretty early on, I think. The plot held together throughout and was done well enough that I stuck it out for the complete outcome (not just to see if the h/H would make it--it's a romance, I know what's gonna happen ;) ). Nothing felt forced and contrived just to get them where they needed to be and it flowed neatly.

Who knew this massively character-driven girl would forgo voice for plot oneday? Learn something new ...

9 comments:

Crystal Collier said...

I know what you mean! I have a hard time with anything that intentionally manipulates your emotional response, or lingers on angsty feelings, but I finished an entire series with said issues. Why? Because the characters were in constant peril. Eye opening.

Old Kitty said...

3-5 a week!! Wow!!!

It's just like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. If it hadn't been for the plot I think I'd have given up - Lisbeth Salander notwithstanding!

Take care
x

S.P. Bowers said...

Must have been a great plot. Sometimes those books grab me because I want to see how it could have been.

Zan Marie said...

It's got to be a whale of a plot for me to read it with lackluster characters! I haven't found one yet that would make me read on...
But I can learn new ways, so I'll try anything once. ; )

Deniz Bevan said...

Interesting! I'm not normally plot-focused either. Though I have to say, that *is* pretty much what's keeping me reading The Count of Monte Cristo. I mean, half the scenes aren't even from his pov!

Anne Gallagher said...

Funny, I never really focused on one or the other while I read. That being said, if I hate the characters I'll put the book down. Not even a good plot can keep me going.

Tara said...

It is eye-opening, Crystal!

And believe me you guys, I never thought I could get through something for plot alone. Especially *gasp* with such blase smexy scenes, too! (I don't mean none, or glossed over, just boring b/c of the chemistry lack.)

roh morgon said...

Hey, Tara!

I know what you mean. I'm the same way, but the longer I write, the pickier I find myself getting.

It's like the flaws I see in other works echo my own early mistakes back to me, and sometimes it's a little unpleasant to find oneself looking in the mirror and thinking, "Oh, God - that sounds like something I would have written four years ago!"

I have found a few stories where the plot made up for the lack of character development, but my background dialog grumbles the whole time, wishing the author had been more into their characters.

I'm sure the opposite exists (well-developed characters, weak plot), but it seems that if you have strong characters, plot happens. Complex characters have complex problems, and rarely have simple lives.

Great post. TTYS

Goku shrestha said...

Yeah, That happens. Like how things we once despised may lure us as they have a part of them which is strong.