What is your STOPPING point?

start-stop

In the final throes of editing and proofreading before hitting that “Publish” button, I am once again re-visiting my opening paragraphs. I have two that I like, one that I’m leaning towards, and I’m 90% certain I’m leaving it alone. However, in the past few months, I’ve been hyper aware of how other authors choose to start their novels. It’s fascinating.

I recently began reading a book that had been highly anticipated, and then highly recommended by several blogs that I follow. I’ve found some great books this way in the past, and have rarely been disappointed when a book has this much positive buzz. So I bought it, started it, and at the end of chapter one I thought.. eh. Not really into this yet, I have zero connection with the main character (and first person narrator). But it was so highly talked about, I’ll give it another chapter.

I ended up giving it three more chapters. I still had no connection at all with the main character, didn’t understand a lot of what was going on plot-wise or love-interest-wise, and wasn’t particularly blown away with the writing in general. When the next night came around, I anxiously picked up my Kindle, ready to settle into a great book… and then I remembered. It was that book. My heart sank. And that’s when I knew it was time to give up. I downloaded another book from the top of my TBR pile, and never looked back.

Last fall, I read a whole book that I wasn’t connecting with (mediocre writing, unrealistic character choices, not even edited well grammatically), but this book is a thing. It’s a big popular series–so it can’t be bad, right? I just wasn’t getting it? I still don’t know.

So here’s the thing… how much is too much? Or maybe more appropriately, how little is too little? When do you stop reading a book you’re just not connecting with? Do you give a book a chapter? Two? A single page?

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2 thoughts on “What is your STOPPING point?

  1. I have to finish a book through to the end, even if I’m struggling! In some cases it works for me (The Selection series for example: IHATED the first few chapters, then fell in love) in other cases my instinct is right (prob the only one on earth but I despised Hunger Games! I finished the first one but never cared about the rest) but for the most part, if I don’t connect in ch. 1 I know it’s going to be a long, struggle-through!

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  2. I used to be that way too! Had to finish, no matter what. I’m not sure when I turned the corner on that … I think it’s when my TBR pile starting growing so rapidly! Who has time for stinky books? LOL I loved the Selection series as well – I honestly can’t remember what I thought of the first few chapters of book one; that feels so long ago! I had that with Blood Red Road, though. I couldn’t decide if the style was crazy or genius. I eventually loved it though. I’m not sure I can even address the fact that you hated the Hunger Games. .I can’t … I just can’t. 😉

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