Totally Random Tuesday
I recently read (most of) Cruel Beauty and despite disliking a lot of aspects of the book made it through around 250 pages or so before skimming the rest through to the end. This got me thinking about why I pushed through as far as I did despite tweeting out that I’d stop around 100-150 pages if it didn’t improve since I had almost DNF’d it twice. Why do I make it through certain books even if I’m not enjoying myself that much and what crosses the line to become that rare DNF? Finally, what does this say about me and the facets of a book I enjoy most, in short: what kind of reader am I?
So the first question, why did I push through as much of Cruel Beauty? Early in the book the MC was already bugging me. Her inner monologues/quarrels with herself were incredibly irritating and it was just a slow beginning in general. She’s showed signs of just being a jerk at times and yet acted high and mighty at others, it was infuriating.
As I pushed through the book maintained a relatively slow pace, but the world showed itself and I did like a lot of the aspects of it. There was magic, mythology, religion, mystery, and complexity not often seen in YA. The side characters (for the most part) were engaging and funny, each in different ways, but I was pursuing for those reasons. However, eventually the MC wore me down, instalove and a pseudo-love triangle emerged, and the book lost any luster it had previously gained. What had kept me going had failed in the end, and it just wasn’t enough to do more than skim the ending.
The next question is why do I make it through some books but others I give up and DNF? This one is pretty simple at first glance, I know how much work goes into making these books and I want to give the authors every opportunity, plus I hate shining a bad light on books other people may enjoy and love.
Digging deeper it is due to what about books gets me reading, keeps me there, and appeals to me the most. Which leads me to the third question, what kind of reader am I? I’m a character driven reader, I live for them, often in the best book live within them, and love seeing their reactions to whatever is going on around their world. I enjoy the other main elements (world building, plot, writing style, romance, etc.) and the best books incorporate most, if not all, of these things. There are never enough amazing characters for me to love.
When I am struggling with a book what will kill it for me the easiest is that the MC (or at least one of them if there are multiple) drives me crazy. Whether it is flip flopping, showing signs of instalove, being annoying/overly whiny, or any other irritating trait, the main character (and to a lesser extent side ones) can make me hate a book enough to never go back to it or even read it all the way.
A world that is unbelievable (in a bad way), a plot that is convoluted, instalove and love triangles, or flat out poor writing/unappealing writing style, can all be the cause of such a letdown. There needs to be some redeeming qualities for me to stay with the book for long and not quit after 100 pages or less. Regardless of genre it would appear that I am a character driven reader, but what about you?
What kind of reader are you? What one of the major elements of books do you enjoy most, which one has the biggest consistent influence? What makes it difficult to keep reading, what can you not stand in a book? Why have you DNF’d ones you have and what has kept you from doing so to others? Have you ever regretted DNF’ing a book or not doing so when you could/should have?
Do characters inspire you? Do you fall in love with certain plots and never want to leave the story? Do you fall so in love with worlds that you wish you could live there? Do romances take you away and make everything unicorns, butterflies, and rainbows? Does beautiful writing move you to tears (happy or sad)? What element speaks to you most? Let me know! I hope you enjoyed this random post and thanks as always for reading!
In Which I Ramble and Have Too Many Ideas
Yes I am posting again which happens to coincide with the date that was set for the return of my blogging ways. However, this does not mean that I am indeed going to continue my plan to go back to blogging on a regular basis. Don’t worry, I will explain why. Over the last few days, as my impending return date has been getting ever closer to the present, I have been considering why it is that I want to blog anymore. What is the purpose? Many of my book blogging acquaintances, I hesitate to call them friends since I don’t know how close we are, virtually or no, do it simply because they love books and want to share their passion with viewers. I respect and admire that desire, and while I to absolutely do have a fondness for many works whether it is the lengthy works of John Grisham or Stephen King, all the way to the eBook short stories of the amazing Jeremy C. Shipp and his Attic Clowns, I don’t know that I have the same desire to voice my opinions on them. Who wants to listen to me babble about these pieces when there are so many others who do it more eloquently or who already have established followings in which to voice their viewpoints? Certainly mine might differ, but when it comes to the majority of the books I have or would review it is something that has already been talked about at length on multiple platforms by people much better at this than I am, and some invariably would have shared the same general opinion as I have or would do in the future.
Do I share my thoughts to viewers because I want to share books that aren’t mainstream and so to help lesser-known authors get the word out about their pieces? I have done so at times, but I never planned on limiting myself to that area and I don’t think I really want to, though I do enjoy helping out debut authors since they do seem to appreciate it, even though I don’t really have the following to help all that much.
So if my opinions aren’t new, and I’m not truly helping anyone by expressing them, what do I achieve by writing them at all? There are more selfish reasons, I wanted to continue bettering myself as a writer. I haven’t had any classes on it, and to be honest my high school education when it comes to writing even pales in comparison to the average person, let alone those who dare to call themselves “writers” or anything of the sort, hence my atrocious punctuation. I think I have improved slightly, but I don’t necessarily need to bombard potential viewers with my drivel in order to continue to write, I can do so without sharing it if improvement was my only goal. So again, I have yet to find a reason to blog.
You may notice how my background mentions fantasy sports, it is now only there for the color, I like how it meshes with the current theme and that’s the only reason it is still there, outside of laziness. However, my previous blogging attempts have been on sports, which is where a lot of my passion lies. I quickly discovered that there was no audience for what I was writing, which was even worse quality wise at the time, and the niche I was trying to get into was so saturated as to be ridiculous, so eventually I gave it up. I’m glad I did, it wasn’t really worth the effort to be honest.
During my thinking process I have also considered vlogging instead, or in addition to my blogging efforts. I figured a small trickle effect would come from my blog/twitter followers, so it wouldn’t be completely without audience, and that perhaps that would be a better medium. However, though I have been on camera in front of people before, and I even know how to edit (though audio mostly, foraying into video would be new for me), I don’t really have anything new to share there either. I could do a daily vlog and be one of those types who try and vlog that way for an entire month or year, but I don’t know that I have any message to convey or any worthwhile opinions to share to anyone anyhow.
You see my life experiences are incredibly limited. The condensed version of my life path has went as follows:
Smart kid but nowhere near “genius” > Does well getting As in grade school > Goes to college at 17 and WAY overburdens himself with max credit load + 2 jobs (when never having worked before or taken classes at that difficulty level) > Bombs out of College 1 after 1 year > Tries an online school which goes well for the first semester but there aren’t enough classes available so quits afterward > Joins the Air Force > Gets injured so is forced to leave > Tries another online college but gives up quickly due to lack of direction > Tries working but doesn’t work out (anxiety) > Tries an online radio show which goes well until the realization that the main host doesn’t know what they’re doing/refuses to take criticism > Goes back home and job searches > Currently Working at a basic job.
Not as condensed as I planned…but you get the gist, I haven’t done much, I’ve given up on most of it, and I haven’t really succeeded in learning or gaining much of anything in the process. I know how to edit audio fairly well, I’m relatively bright though I haven’t applied it in anything and because of bombing out/quitting college so many times that avenue has closed (also can’t afford it), and I really like sports and have a fondness for books. That’s pretty much it. I know, I know, I’m bombarding you with a ton of crap, bear with me I think I’m almost done.
So I don’t know that I really want to blog about books, I love reading them, and I’m all for trying and helping new authors, but I think there are plenty of people who do it better and more effectively. I love sports but that field has no room, seriously. I don’t have any skills to share and I’m not like the Vlogbrothers (geniuses by the way) who have someone else to bounce off of creatively. I enjoy writing and I loved participating in NaNoWriMo, but I think that might even be more about the social interaction than because I truly love the craft, plus I need to work on it before I’d even consider sharing any of it anyhow. What seems to be the case is that I enjoy surveying other people’s awesome. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, but I shouldn’t leech off of their creative juices and try to replicate a slightly varied version of their amazing product, it isn’t fair to them and it isn’t really worth it to anyone who would view it. I’m more than happy to give my viewpoint on something if someone asks me, but that doesn’t mean I should be so presumptuous as to assume that anyone wants it if they haven’t requested it beforehand. I’m not doing anything interesting enough to share, I’m just going through the motions of life and until that changes maybe I should keep it to myself. That doesn’t mean I won’t continue reading my favorite blogs, watching awesome YouTube videos, or talking to the awesome people on Twitter, but maybe that’s all I should do, at least for now.
If you’ve made it to the end of this drivel I commend you, though I must say I’m surprised. I know a handful of people that I can think of who may actually have read all of this and to those people you are amazing, but you probably should find better ways to spend your time than my blog, just saying. 😛 If you have ever commented on any of my posts, if you have even thought about it but decided not to, or for some reason you actually have enjoyed any of my previous content (and didn’t just see it because I put a link up on your meme post) then please, feel more than free to let me know your thoughts on all this. I’m more than happy to read them. Thanks. This is Frodo, at least for now, signing off.
**Addition: I just wanted to summarize something here that maybe I wasn’t clear on. If I’m not honing a craft I think I can use in the future (such as vloggers who plan to make video their career or bloggers who use it as a writing tool as they work towards making writing theirs) and I’m also not really sharing anything new to viewers then maybe there isn’t any point to it.
Random Read-A-Thon is hosted by the awesome people over at My Shelf Confessions, if you would like to sign up for this impromptu read-a-thon (that I somehow JUST found out about 😦 ) you can do so here http://www.myshelfconfessions.com/posts/random-read-a-thon-come-read-with-us/, I highly encourage you to do so!
As this is informal and random, and due to my just finding out about it I have no clue how often I will update, hopefully a few times. It started Friday and will end at 12 AM on Tuesday the 23rd. Without further ado, let the read-a-thoning commence! ^.^
*From Noon – 1 PM CST I took a lunch break, pizza is good stuff people 🙂
**From 6 PM – 8:30 PM CST I took a break to be with my family
Book I am currently reading: Owlet by Emma Michaels
Books I have completed: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, Burn For Burn by Jenny Han
Pages read: 835
Time spent reading: 10 hours 53 minutes
Mini Challenges Completed: Your Fate in Fiction, Randomly Fill in the Sentence
Snacks Eaten: Mixed Berry Nutri Grain Bars (3), Cherry Coke (2 cans), Dr. Pepper (3 cans), Supreme Pizza, Orange Juice (1 cup), Chips & Salsa
Your Fate in Fiction
Challenge: If your life were to suddenly (very randomly) turn into a plot from any book you’ve either read or want to read in the future, which plot would you hope it turned out to be and why?
Response: I would want it to turn into the plot from the Pendragon series by D. J. MacHale. Bobby (the main character) does have to go through a lot of emotional and physical pain at different points in the series but he gets to travel across time and various dimensions/other worlds which is awesome. It may not be a “perfect” life to live but it would be incredible and Bobby learns a lot about himself along the way. ^.^
Randomly Fill in the Sentence
Challenge: Keeping things random and simple, we just want you to finish the following sentence from Speak with a random sentence on a random page from your current read!