Hosted by Booking Through Thursday
I’ve seen many bloggers say that what draws them to certain books or authors is good writing, and what causes them to stop reading a certain book or author is bad writing. What constitutes good writing and bad writing to you?
For me, good writing involves proper language. I cannot abide bad grammar in books – there is just no excuse! I also insist upon proper structure. An example of a book which I found impossible to read is Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon. Sentences are often little more than lists along the lines of “And this and that and the other, and this other thing and that and then that…” with an awful lot of “ands” in there. Gibbon also frequently starts his sentences with “and” or “but” which, to me, is against every rule of writing in the English language. On top of all that, his sentences are very long and unwieldy with a single sentence often spanning an entire lengthy paragraph. All of these together rendered the book completely unreadable even before discovering how dull the story was!
This brings me to my next important point – there must be a decent plot! I very quickly grow bored of formulaic books. An example of this, for me, would be Dan Brown’s books. He has decent enough stories with plenty of intrigue, but if you’ve read one of his books, you’ve essentially read them all. I have read his first four books and will never read another because by the time I’d finished them I felt like I’d read the same book four times over. His female leads are all strong, intelligent and incredibly beautiful – and seem to fall all over his male leads. The only thing that seems to change is their names and accents. I see this as the height of laziness.
Stereotypes also often annoy me too. If you have a dumb blonde and a dark-and-handsome cynic who hate each other on sight, you can bet that through some shared adversity, they will fall for one another. Predictability is a killer for me – I like to be surprised.
When I find books that feature excellent writing (i.e. good use of language, good structure, atypical characters and exciting, engaging plots), I am over the moon. There are plenty that have a combination of some of these elements, but not many that cover them all. When I come across them, I rate them 5/5, but those are few and far between. You can see which they are by checking out my list HERE.