Bad Books

Reading a book is subjective. Sometimes I realize how editors and agents feel. Yesterday I finally found my first book that I will not finish. Which is sad, because the hero/heroine are great. I love them. I want to have them fall in love, and get their happily ever after. But, I want to kill the villains.

I’m all for the villains being bad in a story. How can the hero/heroine be good if they are not played against the bad guys? It is part of the story. But, so is Goal, Motivation, and Conflict.

I do not buy a guy ‘in love’ with the heroine, she does something he asked her to do, and he turns on her. Calls her every name in the book when she did what he asks and it put her into danger to boot. I don’t buy it and I can’t read it.

But, as a writer it is a great lesson in what I don’t want to do in any story I write. A guy or girl can be bad but it has to have a reason and motivation behind it.

Jill James

8 thoughts on “Bad Books

  1. Wow, Jill! You’re such an avid reader and this is the first book you won’t finish? You’ve had amazing luck with books. Granted, I’m sad when I’m not pulled in by a book and won’t finish it because it happens more times than I like. I think it’s because once I started writing, my time is so precious. It’s not that the book is BAD necessarily, but just that I have so many other things calling to me. But I agree, reading books, good or bad, is a great way for any writer to learn.

    • Virna, I think part of the problem was reading way too many books in a row without a break. But the character development just wasn’t there. The behavior wasn’t believable of the secondary characters.

  2. There are a number of books that I have taken a long, long time to finish. Still more which are, as yet, unfinished but just awaiting “the right time” but rare is the book that defeats me. So rare in fact that it is yet to occur – I guess that this means I must read more…

    • Theqotd, reading more is always fun and educational. This one book just set me off because it is a time travel romance. You don’t see many of those anymore and I was really looking forward to reading it, then to have it disappoint was really sad.

  3. Great blog. I have thrown out a lot of books, well not thrown them out, but put them in the donate bag because I lost interest. Usually its because the story just loses steam somehow, and my interest with it. But I need a strong heroine, a stronger hero, and a really bad baddie to hold me.

    • “I need a strong heroine, a stronger hero, and a really bad baddie to hold me.”

      Those are important things in a story. The baddie was really bad, but I didn’t believe WHY he was that way. I think that was what was wrong with the story.

  4. Motivation is everything. What I find challenging as a writer is revealing that motivation slowly and believably and without being heavy-handed…Like in life, as we begin to gather pieces of information about someone we’re getting to know, it always takes time to understand where they are coming from. It’s not as if they deliver us a monologue right away laying out all their reasons for behaving the way they do…If only it were that easy, right?
    Congrats on your book, Jill!

    • Erika, thank you so much for the congrats and for stopping by my blog. I truly believe in the ‘tidbits along the way’ approach to writing. Maybe that’s why it so upset me that it was so abrupt. Even a simple, “How could she do this to me?” instead of I love her/I hate her, the bitch, the very next second.

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