Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Confessions of a Peeved Reader

I have a confession to make.

As a reader, there was one type of scene I always skimmed. Most romances, especially the historicals, would have this kind of scene and without fail, I'd skip it. I remember it being a pet peeve of mine.

The scene always felt overdrawn, long, overly detailed with nothing exciting happening (lack of conflict)...The wedding scene.

Yup. I know I'm probably in the minority but there's my confession: I hate reading wedding scenes.

What's your confession?

31 comments:

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Cliche characters. Bad bad guys with no hint of why they act the way they do...with no texture. Or on the flip side good good guys who are too saccharine.
~ Wendy

Faith said...

I skim long passages of description... and I'll go back later and read them if it feels like I've missed something important. I do it with excessive back story too... not so good for my critique buddies, as I have to try really hard to slow down and read every word... LOL!

Julie Jarnagin said...

Overly cheesy lines. You would think that a romance writer would love that stuff, but it makes me cringe.

Jessica Nelson said...

Oh yes, Wendy, saccharine makes me cringe!

LOL Faith! Actually, that is good for your critters because it probably means they have too much. :-)

Diane said...

The last one I read was so short I wasn't sure it happened. I had to go back and re-read it to make sure....

Love your new avi picture BTW! :O)

Jessica Nelson said...

Hahaaa, Julie, YES, I know what you mean. I'm always scouring my own work wondering if anyone is being cheesy. lol

Terri Tiffany said...

Good point--I think the wedding scene needs to be really unique!

Jessica Nelson said...

Diane, the wedding scene? LOL Sounds like it's what I'd like reading. Heeeheee!

Terri, yes, if there's no conflict and nothing happening, then I'd prefer it to be skipped. Romance is great but I guess the details of everything bog me down. Good point about uniqueness.

Jessica R. Patch said...

I don't care for grocery list like narrative. Then, next, finally. I also dislike cheesy lines, but I will giggle at them. I'm glad one of my critters can find them, because I'm guilty of writing some and not realizing it until a re-read.

Jessica Nelson said...

Jessica, me too! I'm sure I'm guilty of lengthy, boring narrative too. lol I know for sure I write unlikable characters who have to get sanded a bit.

Anita Grace Howard said...

I have a wedding scene you MUST read some day, Jessie! I think you'd like it. :)It's in the first book I ever wrote and is nothing short of unique. LOL

Hmm. My confession ... I hate that publishers have so much say in what is presented to readers nowadays. You knew that was coming, right? HEH

(Voodoo doll, work that magic baby...)

Jessica Nelson said...

LOL Anita! They don't though, as you're starting to realize. Stores are closing and online venues are becoming a stronger and stronger way to market yourself. :-) You'll do great, no matter what, because you're an awesome writer!

K. Victoria Chase said...

I skim it too! Thankfully, it is usually the epilogue. We all know the characters will marry; we all know it will be pages of details of the dress, flowers, church/outside, and ONLY at the END do we get a bit of cute dialogue and sweet kiss. Skipable! :) (No offense anyone).

Erica Vetsch said...

The most engaging wedding scene I've ever read was in Mary Connealy's Calico Canyon. Neither the bride nor the groom really seemed to grasp that they were getting married!

Kara said...

Too much description. I like description, but sometimes it is overdone.
I also have a hard time reading about male characters that aren't manly. I like the rough and tumble guys. If the hero I'm reading about is too sensitve etc. I just get turned off:)

Lacie Nezbeth said...

Hi Jessica!You're funny! I don't mind the wedding scenes too much but the ones I really like are the shotgun weddings. They have to but don't want to...lots of tension there. Love it!

Patti said...

I agree with you, do they really need to be that long.

Laila Knight said...

Yeah, I'll skip to the part where the groom kisses the bride...also hate when the whole undressing scene takes ten pages. Get to it already. :)

Loree Huebner said...

If too much detail...I skim. I do love the spoken words of devotion between the couple. Sometimes a few, right-placed, tender, heartfelt words can say so much more of their passion than action. That's good writing.

Melissa Jagears said...

how about writing the wedding scene, ugh, I have one I have to write because it's a marriage of convenience story--so it does have conflict, but I've yet to make any critter happy and I've rewrote it 3 times already, maybe I'll look to make it shorter since that's your deal here, it's another thing to try anyway!

I skip descritptions if more than one line, people tell me that historical readers want the description to be transported to another world and I have to write in more setting. I'm a historical reader and I say--get on with the dialog and action please!

MaryC said...

I just read a really unique wedding scene in Terri Blackstock's Camp Refuge series - it gets interrupted while the groom catches a murderer and the bride scoops the story! Not boring at all!

I'll have to go with the overly long passages of description. With that I have to admit to being guilty of writing it when I first started. I thought that's the way you were supposed to do it!

My other pet peeve would be too much ogling (Sp?)of the hero. Okay, I get he's a hunk but show me in some way other than the heroine drooling (or vice versa).

Jessica Nelson said...

Mary, I get tired of hunkiness too. I mean, yes, I want him hot but hotness comes in all sorts of ways, not necessarily handsomeness. That said, I confess to loving the dark and broody hero. ;-) Def. a stereotype there but I find it irresistible.

Melissa, I'll bet you'll do a great job. If you think your wedding scene is necessary, just put lots of juicy conflict in it, maybe a hook of some sort, and that should spice it up. Good luck!

Great points, Loree!

Jessica Nelson said...

K. so true that it's usually the epilogue! I've skipped SO many of those.

Yep, I read that and it was great, Erica!

Kara, totally agree with you. Sensitive and the darker characters I like are totally different. I love manly men!

Jessica Nelson said...

Oh yes, Lacie, those are great! Thanks for popping by.

Hey Patti!!

Hahaaa, Laila, you're too funny. :-)

MaryC said...

Oh I love the dark and brooding/hunky hero too - just get tired of reading her watching him.

Karen Lange said...

I skim lengthy descriptive scenes sometimes. Once in a while, I will check the back of the book to see what happens. Totally cheating, I know, and I mostly resist, but once in a while...:)

Have a great week!

deborahjbarker said...

Hi Jessica, thank you for commenting on my blog today! Interesting question you ask - my confession as a reader? I often skip those passages that try to describe the backstory and wish that I could just gently discover what's happened before without the tedium of reading it. As a writer, I strive to avoid this habit. I also dislike wedding scenes - not only in books but on TV too - as you say normally drawn out and unexciting.
Hope to see you next Wednesday!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Definitely long, boring description and introspection. However, in one popular book, the author decided to show us the main characters were bored (instead of just telling us this). And it went on and on, so that in the end, the reader was as bored as the characters.

Linda Glaz said...

Here's just one. An old crotchety character with such a strong dialect written into the dialogue you have to keep rereading to understand it.

Deb Shucka said...

Funny, I always like the wedding scenes. What I skim are the parts where I feel like an author is using the story as an excuse to preach at me or teach me in some way.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

I'm guilty of doing it myself, but mine is long internal monologues. I inevitably skim and skip. Now when I edit I ask myself what the important nugget is in my long internalizations, then I chop, chop, all around the nugget until it's nice and concise (well, concise to my standards, anyway).