Terribleminds is at it again. After a nice, positive-sounding list of 25 Reasons Readers Will Keep Reading Your Story, here’s a list of things to consider NOT doing if you want to keep an audience. As always, the language is a bit strong but the information is thought-provoking.
Awkward language: when the quality and clarity of your prose fails to meet the intention of the writer. Put differently, it’s when your writing is clunky, clumsy, and the greatest sin of all, unclear. If I don’t know what you’re trying to tell me, I will put a bullet in your book’s brain and bury it out by the marigolds.
Confusing and illogical plots stop me dead. Newsflash: I need to know what’s going on. And what’s going on needs to actually make some fucking sense. I don’t want to feel like I’m machete-chopping my way through your snarled and tangled pubic thatch just to get to the good stuff.
I can feel when an author is pulling punches, when the story is the narrative equivalent of lobbing softballs. This isn’t about being edgy or hardcore, I only mean to suggest that I know when the author is treating his plot and his characters — and, by proxy, the audience — gingerly. He’s not taking any risks. No danger in plot, no conflict for the characters, no risk in the prose one writes. Go big or go the fuck home. Every book is in competition with every other book, movie, comic book, porn movie, and breakfast cereal in existence. Put your back and your heart into it, goddamnit. Stop phoning it in.