Why I drop books

Hello again dear readers. I’ve come back again with another post for you.

Today I’m going to talk a little bit about reading. Before this year I’ve only given up reading a few books. Part of that was because either another or I spent hard earned money on them. A few, were terrible, but I pushed through. Some still linger in my thoughts, either as they were so dreadful, or they were on subjects that just either didn’t interest me, or were too vulgar. But for the most part, I felt I could last through anything.

But now I have a nearly limitless banquet of books via Kindle Prime, I’ve taken to being a bit more critical. Certainly there are interesting or clever things to learn from these books, but while I do read with that in mind, I also don’t want to waste my time on reading things I abhor.

Of course there are things to take away from a book you dislike, especially for those of us that write, but eventually it’s counterproductive. I can last through clunky writing, but I can’t stand bad characterization. Take for example when a person is attempting to write someone as if they were a genius, or at least brilliant. If I spot anything less than clever it takes away from my immersion. Of course clever people can do unintelligent things, but when they consistently make poor decisions, it really irks me.

To me it’s characters first, and story second. Yes a story needs to exist for a book, or at least some sort of narrative, even in a biography. But, truly if you can’t write a person, believable in their own world and from your own words, then that isn’t a book. That’s a collection of things that happen to an ever shifting blob of a person. Not a character, and not even a person really, but a thing that reacts the way you want the story to go.

When I write I do so with the idea of a story, but a clear picture of a character in that world. I let my concept of that person lead me around said universe, and see what happens. Yes I try to make sure they follow the path I want, but with as little encouragement as possible.

Without a believable character you lose the ability to empathize with the perspective of that person you’ve created. They are there so the audience can live in that world to. Perhaps not making all the choices the audience would make, but at least making believable choices. Otherwise you are left with a broken story.

This of course is all from my perspective, and I realize other people enjoy an interesting world more than they do characters. However, try to think back on any book you’ve truly enjoyed. Do you remember the people written there, or do you remember the world? Obviously there have been certain books I’ve read when I was younger that I remember the world more, those being more hard sci-fi, but for the most part it’s always been about how those people deal with those interesting worlds. I have more of an investment when reading about characters that have personalities, but again that’s just me.

So from my viewpoint, if you are to write, invest in your characters. Don’t make them too plain, nor too over-powered. Make them real, or as realistic as your world allows. Grant them individuality, and your investment will grow into a believable story.

Until next time, I hope you have a great week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy


Click here for a link to the book



Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: Currently on chapter 19 out of 36

Steven Oaks

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