Smart Girls Read Romance

Smart Girls Read Romance -- so do the bestselling and award-winning Authors who write this blog. Join them as they dish about Books, Romance, Love, and Life.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Do You Finish Every Book You Start?

I'm one of those kids who became addicted to the school library in the second grade. After high school, there were mail book clubs, then yard sales and book stores, both used and new. I never met a book I couldn't finish. Some I felt a loss when I reached the end. I'd never read about these people again or experience the emotions the author pulled from me with her well-crafted sentences and created worlds. For a while these make believe people had become my friends. I couldn't wait to get my chores and homework done so I could open the book again.

 
 
Over the years, writing styles have changed. But two things remain important: a well-written story and characters we can identify with and like.
 
There's something else I'm noticing more and more. I can no longer finish every book I start. Some lack imagination. It's as if I've read parts of them before as these unimaginative segments are juxtaposed with cliché after cliché, in an attempt to cover up plot holes. 
 
I've found heroines too self-centered and smart-mouthed to care about. And men who talk to ladies the first time they meet them as if they are whores. There is no journey from attraction to deep caring to love. Just a hop from lust to the "wild fandango." The stories lack depth.
 
So, now you see some of the challenges before me, as a writer. To keep my storylines fairly fresh, the plot holes closed, the heroines likable and the heroes swoon-worthy. And to hope my readers finish my books.
 
On April 7th, book two of my Highlander's Beloved series, The Highlander's Passion,, releases. A story of a second chance at love, a little girl who wants a mommy and secrets revealed that change the lives of many.
 
 
“Packed with red hot passion, mystical suspense, and snicker-inducing humor, this heart-tugging kilted romance entertains and satisfies from beginning to end. Well done, Ms. Davis.”—Mackenzie Crowne, RONE Award–winning author of A Song for Sophie
 
 

12 comments:

  1. Vonnie, I appreciated your comments. I used to feel obligated to finish a book, but no longer. I read for pleasure and no longer feel the need to finish a book if it is not well written. I am thankful for all you authors who write such enjoyable books!

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    1. Karren, I wonder if part of it isn't the time pressure put on us to produce as quickly as we can. In times past, talented authors took a year or more to write a book--and it was darn good. Now, an editor wants to know if we can do two or three a year. Since I've been writing for two publishers (which ends in April, thank goodness), I have literally typed The End to one book, opened a new document and typed Chapter One on another book. I want to take a week off and sleep. Rest my brain. I'll soon only have to write two books a year, which sounds like a vacation to me. But part of it is society. Listen to the snarky way people talk to one another. Rudeness is the norm. "Watch where you're goin', bit*h." I fear it's carrying over into our beloved romances.

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  2. I'm there, too, Vonnie, and I truly mourn the loss of the reader I was.

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    1. The only time I have to read anymore is in bed. I've spent all day wording and rewording sentences. I have a bad habit of using the same word or phrases over and over. I'm working so hard to break it, along with some other lazy habits I've acquired or have always had and didn't know any better. LOL So when I read for enjoyment, I really need to be sucked in. I love it when a book I'm reading worries me during the day. What will happen next? Is it bedtime yet?

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  3. Vonne, your books are always impossible to put down, so you're doing a wonderful job. Look forward to the new book.

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    1. Thank you, Caroline. You're always so supportive. I always get nervous as the release date for a new book approaches. While I write with a fair amount of humor, my heroine whispered a secret to me that took me by surprise and somehow emotionally deepened the story. I cried as I wrote the scene and rewrote and edited it several times. It always brought tears. I hope readers can feel the emotion I worked so hard to weave into the scene.

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  4. Like you, I often quit reading a book before reaching the end. You stated the main reasons, but I've also quit reading because of stilted dialogue, poor editing, and sloppy formatting--even in books released by well-known authors! When I see mistake after mistake, my mind jumps out of the story and my brain starts focusing on the next case of "your" instead of "you're."
    Keep up your hard work! Life is to short to read (or write!) badly-written books.

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    1. Typo: Life is TOO short ....Guess I need to proofread before hitting the enter key!

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    2. Sandra, I hit the publish key before I read over my remarks too. I'm of the age when I was in high school, we were taught to put a comma in front of too. Now it's wrong, according to editors. One publishing house will allow a comma before and after too if it's used in the middle of a sentence. Another will not. I have to keep a list of what's allowed here and there. Some houses want grey with an 'e' and others with an 'a'. Some want blonde for a female's hair and blond for a man's. European publishers tend to want blond for both sexes.Keeping It all straight makes my brain hurt. LOL I've had an editor at a Big Five "forget" to read my manuscript and edit it. She just sent it onto production. I kept waiting and waiting. Three weeks before release, I emailed her asking where my edits were. She replied, they were awesome and I shouldn't worry. AWESOME? In my frantic efforts to meet all these deadlines, had I completed edits and not remembered doing it??? So I went back over all my old emails from the date I sent the raw manuscript in. There was nothing. So, I emailed her again, told her, and asked where my edits were. Three days later, she meekly emailed she'd been so busy, she'd never read the book and had sent it onto production. "Don't worry," she says. "You always write such fantastic stories." Well, I know me...AND my foibles. I do need edited. So this poor mess is on sale--unedited--much to my embarrassment. A reviewer wrote that it could have used some editing. Boy, oh boy, was that reader right!!! I hope I never have another horror story like that.

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  5. I only finish reading a book if I am enjoying it. If I halfway like it, I might skip to the end to see if it improved. Most of the time, it hadn't. I don't have a lot of time for reading for pleasure; so when I read, it has to make me feel good, not annoy me. If it doesn't, I delete it.

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    1. I'm with you on that, Rain. Time is so precious. I want to fill it with books that make me moan, "Now why can't I write like this?" I don't want to feel cheated by a writer who didn't give me her best.

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  6. Congratulations on the new release. Once upon a time, I couldn't imagine NOT finishing a book. Times change or perhaps time simply becomes too scarce. Now, I no longer feel guilty about not finishing a book. If a book doesn't capture my emotions rather quickly, out they go.

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