Thursday, June 26, 2008

How many pages will you give a new book?

What I’m reading now: The Charm School by Nelson DeMille

What I’m working on: Beefing up my Slayer character grids and starting character grids for the next book in the series. I’m also rewriting an important scene from a different POV.

How many pages will you give a book before you just say no? How many will you give it before you’re truly committed to finishing it no matter what? The answer to these questions might not be the same.

Generally, I’ll give the book at least 2 or 3 chapters – unless the chapters are unbearably long or have no redeeming interest for me. I am seldom hooked on the first page or even in the first chapter for that matter. I still question whether I like the characters and can buy into the plot in the first chapter of most books.

Even after chapter 3, there is still the possibility that I’ll put the book down and not come back to it. I’ve been know to be about half way through and flip to the back to see if it’s predictable (a big reason I put books down). If it is, I shelve it.

How far are you willing to read before you just say “no”? Will you get to a point and then commit to finish no matter what or is there always that chance you’ll drop a bad read?



Terry Odell said...

I think I'm a victim of the 'clean plate club' -- or, the "finish your dinner because children are starving in China", both of which were handed down when I was a kid.

I think there are 3 books in my life I haven't finished. That being said, I'm a fast reader, and probably read at warp speed if I'm not connecting, but I can't seem to let something go unfinished. (And I can always learn something, such as WHY I don't like the book, so I can make sure to avoid that in my own writing.)