A very interesting post popped up on my timeline, asking friends what makes others stop reading a book. Some of the responses were unique but a decent portion of readers responded in the way we thought they would. Here are three reasons why people put books down and don’t get to the last page.
- Being predictable. We all hate when we can guess what’s going to happen in a plot. Once a story is predictable, people don’t feel compelled to continue on with the story. If you’re writing a story and the plot is straight forward, you’d better guess it that book is going right back on the shelf and the reader is huffing in another direction.
- No conflict. Believe it or not, some writers just write. And I mean, write without direction. No planning, plotting deaths, or even connections between characters. Some of you are probably cringing in your seats, wondering how someone could do that or how they even got published. Anyway, if your story is lacking a real gut-wrenching conflict, you’re asking for the shelf.
- Inserting views into the story. This one is tricky. People don’t like views shoved down their throat in conversation or in upbringing (rule number one if you want sane children), so why would people give books a pass in the views department. They don’t. In reality, no one likes that.
Hmm… now that I think of it, I used to be sooo guilty of #2… I think I solved the problem since, but surely I could do with a bit more planning 🙂 Thanks for opening my eyes to the problem!
All three are essential elements of a great story. Which is why there are lots of books, many of which don’t have compelling stories. That doesn’t mean everything has to be gritty, but the characters must be people readers care about, whether that measure of “care” is love or hate. Nice, succinct assessment.