Friday, August 30, 2013
Challenge Day 13, Day 14, and Day 15: Reccs, Deal Breakers, and Mentors
Describe one underappreciated book EVERYONE should read
Joan of Arc by Mark Twain.
Who the heck knew that Mark Twain wrote a book on a saint? This book is awesome. Twain considered it to be his best work. I think one of these days I'm going to write a post on books that authors considered to be their masterpieces but never became as famous as some of their other works.
Tell us your deal breakers
Flat characters. If most of the characters in the book have no interesting facets to them, no curious motivation, no small quirks - I will probably find the book too boring to like, no matter how clever the plot. Actually, a really good plot cannot exist without good Characters to move it forward. I want to tell the author to read some Les Miserables. Hugo is a master at Characters... (see this and this)
An unpunished villain. As C.S. Lewis said: "Let there be wicked kings and beheadings, battles and dungeons, giants and dragons, and let villains be soundly killed at the end of the book." I don't mind a book that has really gruesome, really sad, really twisted things in it (even though I don't really like horror). Just please, please, show me that the good guys win - or at least that the bad guys lose.
No hope. This is sort of a continuation of the last one. I hate book endings that have no spark of hope in them for the characters or the situation. Let me reword what I said in the "villain" paragraph: The good guys don't have to win, and the bad guys don't have to lose, but please, please, let there be a spark of hope that good will triumph. I hate pessimism.
Main characters who are defined by their relationship. I mean a character who is nothing without their significant other. What about before they met the significant other?? Who were they then? Wisps of nothing in the wind? People are more than their relationships, guys. Give'm some depth, please.
Looking back at what I've written, I realize that the two major things that piss me off about a book are lack of character depth and depressing endings. Yep - that's pretty much it. Any other book will get at least a chance at a passing grade.
Oh, I just thought of one more. Bad grammar. And bad writing in general. Bad grammar is inexcusable - though not entirely the fault of the author. Hello, editor? Bad writing, on the other hand, is more subjective. What defines bad writing? Well, one thing we've already touched on is lack of depth. Other things include not enough description, plot loops, dry writing and other areas that a few read-throughs and edits should cover. These blah-spots should be found before you publish - not by the reader in an already published book. It just makes the book more confusing, less likable, and extremely unprofessional. Give the manuscript to a friend for an informal editing session or something.
And the last question...
Who are your book blogging mentors?
Umm.. I don't have any really... (Wow. Ending with a bang.)
So there it is! The challenge is over (and early, too!). In honor of this, I will take a day off for the weekend, and then post a review (finally) on Monday.
After this crazy daily posting, I want to write novels or something, instead of blog posts. I also have my mom after me about studying for SATs and ACTs. So, from now on, I will be posting only once or twice a week.
Quality over quantity is what I'm aiming for.
See you on Monday!