Dangerous Hero Addict Support Group discussion

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Question of the Week > When is a book hard to read? When is it easy?

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message 1: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Loves 'Em Lethal (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 9736 comments Mod
In honor of Labor Day on Monday, I thought I'd ask about the work we put into reading.

Strictly talking pleasure reading right now, what makes a book like pulling teeth to read? Conversely, what elements make reading a book a smooth, completely pleasurable experience?

It is subject matter, content, writing style, page font, brevity, word choice that determines this for you?

Name some books on either side of the spectrum.


message 2: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (studioeastrat) | 511 comments For me the books that are hardest to read are the ones where it feels like the author was paid by the word. I don't like it when authors are overly descriptive. I don't need every tree in the forest described down to the leaves. I just need to know there is a forest there, ya know.

The books that I enjoy the most are fast paced, have interesting character development, and witty dialogue.


message 3: by CaroleDee (new)

CaroleDee | 25 comments I really, really, dislike loads of internal dialogue!

It drives me insane. Especially in books where the H/h can't seem to pull it together because of communication issues. They'll have 10 page internal dialogues, that if said aloud, would completely fix their jacked-up relationship!

I think it stems towards not being able to relate. I, basically, have no filter. I'm notorious for blurting out whatever pops into my head. No schitzo internal dialogue for me. LOL

Oh, and I gotta agree with Jessica, with overly abundant descriptions. It's why I never could get into Stephen King. That man sure knows how to drone on and on about the most unimportant details.


message 4: by Katerina (last edited Sep 01, 2013 04:28AM) (new)

Katerina What I dislike:


Limited vocabulary, e.g approximately ten adjectives that are being used throughout the whole text

Stilted dialogues

Too much internal dialogue, when nothing or just little happens outside of the character´s heads

Over descriptive writing, but also the opposite: when I have to fill in the blanks

A Mary Sue character

Distracting formatting of an e-book that make your eyes cross


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I actually like inner dialogue. But I'm a very shy and quiet person who doesn't like to speak her mind. Probably why I can connect to those types of characters so well. I know where they're coming from. There does need to be a balance of actual dialogue and action though.

My favorite element in a romance is humor. I love humor. And the drier the better.

My least favorite thing is abuse and/or torture from the hero. I can't stand an abusive hero. Period. I even stopped reading a series I was loving up to that point when the hero almost raped the heroine. That's a Big No for me.

Although, Mary Sue's, and Gary Stu's, are a close second.


message 6: by Kim Davis (new)

Kim Davis | 134 comments I agree about an author who is overly descriptive. I tried to read an Anne Rice book once and there was an entire chapter (not paragraph, but chapter) describing the grounds and outside of a house. I wanted to pull my hair out and I ended up putting that book aside so I could move on to something else. I never did go back & finish it either.

It isn't as easy for me to put my finger on what makes a book easy to read. It's a combination of so many things. I can usually tell in the first few pages if I am going to be able to lose myself in the book or not. The most recent example is KMM's Fever Series. I simply could not stop reading them once I started.


message 7: by Pamela(AllHoney), Danger Zone (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 1706 comments Mod
For me, it's hard to read when I'm bored of it and just can't get invested in the plot or characters. Overly descriptive is hard too.

Easy would be when the plot is interesting to me and moves at a good pace. The characters are likable and the suspense is tense and edge of your seat. Or is a humorous story then if its actually funny.


message 8: by PepperP0t (new)

PepperP0t hard for me is:
unable to connect to the characters;
bad editing/language skills (passed vs past)
repetition (do you really think I can't remember what I read on page 2 so you tell me multiple times, but you think I can retain enough from page 1 to finish a 400page book?)

easy for me is:
well developed characters;
good direction/plot;
even pacing.


message 9: by Arch (new)

Arch  | 4156 comments Mod
Hard for me:

* When descriptions go on and on. That makes me want to either do some skipping or just give the book away. Drag out descriptions can bore me. I like dialogue, especially tension dialogues. As a writer, I'll describe things, but in my stories, you will find more dialogue than descriptions.

* When the characters are annoying or even if the heroine acts childish. That books is history.

* A book that drags. I don't want to read 10 chapters, before the book picks up speed. I have to admit, I will not get to chapter 10. I would give up on a dragging story, if I don't do some skipping and get to the fast parts.

Easy for me:

* A story that I can not only read, but see as well. I just don't want to read where the hero and heroine have fallen in love, I want to see it. If I can't see it, then it's forced and not real to me.

* Story has to have good tension. It has to be a catcher to me.


Shera (Book Whispers) (sherabookwhispers) | 95 comments * Weak characters. I loath them. No I'm not talking about characters who can kick everybodies butt (but I do like those!). What I mean is their development and the way they are written. 3 dimensional characters people.

What gets me is characters who are so different to me, but I can just sink into them.

If they're whiny, I can't deal.

* Bad love triangles. Honestly when a love triangle is done right I love them! The anguish and conflict. The hot men. When done wrong it feels like a good book is dying a painful death with each word.

* Poor research. Nothing pulls me out of a book like bad information.

* Bad world building. If I have to keep guessing at the time period, world, or whether or not something is a flashback or currently happening. I once read a series where I had no idea whether humans realized that the supernatural beings walked amongst them. It was painful.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

* A story that I can not only read, but see as well. I just don't want to read where the hero and heroine have fallen in love, I want to see it. If I can't see it, then it's forced and not real to me

This. I also don't like books where the couple are or have already been together.


message 12: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Loves 'Em Lethal (last edited Sep 01, 2013 05:06PM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 9736 comments Mod
Thanks for sharing your thoughts so far. Please keep them coming. I love talking about what works and doesn't work for readers.

What makes a book hard to read:

*Tiny font (the older I get, the harder it is to read very small and cramped print in a book, be it ebook or paper)
*Overly descriptive writing (I like beautiful description, but this can be accomplished by good word choice. You can use few words and paint a vivid picture). I like fashion to some degree, but I don't want to read pages about the designer clothes or interior design of the character's house. (I am fine with some descriptions of food, as a foodie, but it should be active and vivid--stimulating the five senses).
*Excessive, repetitive conversations that reveal nothing more about the story and don't advance the story. Stilted, boring dialogue.
*Pages and pages where nothing happens. I don't mind internal dialogue that is integral to the plot and reveals the characters in a deeper way. But when there is no advance in the story for pages, it's so boring to me.
*Too much telling and not enough showing.

What makes a book easy to read:

*Active, dynamic writing (even if it has internal dialogue)
*Good chemistry, off the pages sizzle between the characters and between me and the characters. Distinctive characters, no carbon copies or over-used stock characters.
*Snappy, vibrant, moving, funny when appropriate dialogue
*Intriguing and forward-moving plotting (no stagnation or extraneous moments that don't belong in the story)
*Thoughtful plotting and execution
*I like books that have really well-choreographed action sequences


message 13: by Shera (Book Whispers) (last edited Sep 01, 2013 06:11PM) (new)

Shera (Book Whispers) (sherabookwhispers) | 95 comments Oops. Totally forgot to add my positives with those.

* Amazing characters. I love it when I can read about a character I know I would not like in person, but love how the author has brought life to them.

Basically real characters.

* Well blended books. Even if they're dark, the humor, action, romance, mystery, and everything blends perfectly. So I guess genre blending. (Is that even a thing.)

* World building. I love reading about well thought out worlds were the author as thought of everything before I can even ask.

* Unique worlds. Or concepts. (Guess that kind of goes with the one above.)

* Chemistry. I love good chemistry whether it's romantic, family, or friendship. What's even better is if there's some kind of piz-zaz with the hero and evil villain.

* Solid writing. Whether is really descriptive or blunt.

* Humor. No matter what I'm reading I want some type of humor. Heck if the book is dark the better the laughs.

* Good plots. If I can out guess the author I usually feel like the read is pointless. I want to be surprised. If the author pulls one over me, all the better!

* Great sex! If it's going to be there, make it hot and make it good. Please no awkward descriptions or calling the women sluts. Yuck.

Forgot a negative.
* Sexist views. Whether it's male or females I hate it when the writer is throwing overtures of sexist view points into the book. (Now I'm talking about really heavy over tones. I know sometimes characters have mild sexist outlooks becuase of past events.)


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

I hate lack of communication between the hero & heroine. Totally agree with Carol Dee on the inner monologue. I cringe when no one is talking to each other and chapters are wasted on not getting issues resolved.

I also struggle through emotional books, especially regarding abuse. I know that these stories do exist in real life, but reading is my escape. I have to take breaks on books with this issue.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Forgot to add, I have a problem with continuous sex! Sorry if I am in the minority, but going at it like rabbits? Really? Who has the energy?
On the bed, on the floor, kitchen table...sleep a couple of hours, go back at..in the shower, back on the kitchen table for breakfast.
Lol, it wears me out reading it!!


Shera (Book Whispers) (sherabookwhispers) | 95 comments Marta J wrote: "Forgot to add, I have a problem with continuous sex! Sorry if I am in the minority, but going at it like rabbits? Really? Who has the energy?
On the bed, on the floor, kitchen table...sleep a coupl..."


Or those 30 to 60 page sex scenes! Those are so painful.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm not really a fan of couples getting together in the first few chapters of their meeting. I like sexual tension. And the sexiest scenes I have ever read didn't even involve a sexual act at all. But they were very, very sensual. There's a difference.


message 18: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Loves 'Em Lethal (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 9736 comments Mod
Traci L. wrote: "I'm not really a fan of couples getting together in the first few chapters of their meeting. I like sexual tension. And the sexiest scenes I have ever read didn't even involve a sexual act at all. ..."

I agree.

I think that sex should belong in a story as well as anything else. If it's extraneous to the story, it should be cut. If the chemistry and bond between the characters is really good and it adds to the story, I don't mind a lot of sex (so long as it's not too kinky for my tastes--I don't much go for that). Some authors write books with a lot more sex well, like Kresley Cole. Although she has a lot of foreplay scenes before they do the deed, so the tension really does build up.

@ Shera, I really love good world-building. I hate when I can't get an image of the world or the characters.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Traci L. wrote: "I'm not really a fan of couples getting together in the first few chapters of their meeting. I like sexual tension. And the sexiest scenes I have ever read didn't even involve a sexual act at all. ..."

Agree!


Shera (Book Whispers) (sherabookwhispers) | 95 comments Traci L. wrote: "I'm not really a fan of couples getting together in the first few chapters of their meeting. I like sexual tension. And the sexiest scenes I have ever read didn't even involve a sexual act at all. ..."

Ahmen!!


message 21: by Pamela (new)

Pamela It's so hard for me to continue with a book when the author obviously wrote a character trying to make me love them and I feel exactly the opposite. I'm reading one now where the heroine is supposed to be a sympathetic character grieving for her late husband, instead she comes off as selfish and insensitive. I wish it could be a DNF for me, but I promised to review it.


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