Monday, January 18, 2010

Books That Flow

What makes a book great for you?

For me, it's the flow of the writing. Each sentence must carry seamlessly into the next, without a sudden halt of forward progress. If I'm reading and I stumble over a sentence, that lessens the effect for me. Usually it's not the use of big or difficult words so much as just an awkward sentence. One that is written poorly will jolt me right out of the story. That is why I enjoy Preston & Childs so much as authors. Their sentences flow without effort.
(And this is something I'm working SO hard on in my own writing!)

What authors do you feel 'flow' with their writing? Have you encountered those with stumbling sentences?


Helen Ginger said...

What stops me totally is a sentence that when I read it, it doesn't make sense. Then I have to go back and try to read it slowly, word by word, to figure it out (or not). Not only have I lost the feel of the scene, I've lost interest.

Straight From Hel

joe doaks-Author said...

For me, it's not so much flow...though that is an it is stupid or illogical character actions. For example: Woman alone in isolated house, with power knocked out, on dark and stormy night and killer reported on the loose, hears a noise in basement...and goes down to check it out.

Makes me grind my teeth.

Best Wishes Galen.
Imagineering Fiction Blog

The Old Silly said...

As an editor I get miffed when I run into an authors interjecting his or her own "voice" into the story with an omnicsient POV statement when the story is being told in 1st or 3rd person POV. Sometimes they do it for like a whole paragraph in a "data dump" - which stick out like a snake bitten thumb and stops the forward motions of the story dead with a jolt.

Marvin D Wilson

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I was curious what you'd say as editors, Helen and Marvin.

Galen, those things drive me crazy in movies, too!

Adele said...

As a reader it's characters. If the characters don't work for me I can't read the book.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Characters are important to me as well. And too many big words make me stumble. I like it simple!