Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 25, 2018

Book Winners and Book Question

Carol Scott won TURKEY TRICK OR TREAT by Wendi Silvano
Manju B. Howard won CHICKENS IN MITTENS by Adam Lehrhaupt
Janet Cruickshank won UNSTOPPABLE by Nancy Furstinger
Betty Vanderwielen won MAGIC FOR SALE by Carrie L. Clickard
Susan Harris won PUMPKIN SPICE SECRETS: A Swirl Novel by Hillary Homzie
Donna Taylor (Writersideup) won NORBERT’S BIG DREAM by Lori Degman

Above Illustration by Katherine Tillotson featured on Illustrator Saturday.

I’ve been reading a lot of books – many have been self-published. As I have said in the past, I have found some excellent self-published authors – ones I rush to buy as soon as one of their books comes out. I usually try to finish every book I start – even when a book didn’t get good until 80% was read, but lately I have started dumping a book at 30%. In one recent book, I was so confused about what was going on, I had to give up after two chapters. I hated doing that, but when a book becomes so painful, I have to put it down. This recent experience has re-enforced my opinion of the importance of writing a good beginning.

Here are things that make me stop reading.

  1. Not interesting. Didn’t like the story.
  2. Too slow.
  3. Needless description that causes the scenes to drag.
  4. Dialog that doesn’t make sense or ring true.
  5. Too many characters in the first chapter that wasn’t clear enough and causes confusion.
  6. Poorly written sentences that make a reader have to backtrack and read over and over again.
  7. A scene that doesn’t make sense even after re-reading.
  8. Over written.
  9. The characters are so unlikable that I hate spending any time with them.
  10. Phoney problems. Problems that no one would think were a problem.

I would love to hear how long do you read before closing a book?

Before you submit your next manuscript think about me and ask yourself would Kathy put this book down? Have a few people read your manuscript before sending it out. Listen. I read three books by one self-published author who’s books could have been best sellers – great plots and stories. The trouble was they read like a first draft. Take your time and write it right.

What makes you stop reading?

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Chapters that switch point of view too often. The plot gets lost in the maneuvering.


  2. Purple prose, ridiculous dialog, and girls/women who act wimpy, and label/product dropping, make me stop reading. I give a book about 30-40 pages and then stop if it doesn’t get better.


  3. Too many pages of “set up” before anything happens


  4. Wow, SO many books and SO many winners—and one of them is me! 😀 Congrats to all, and thank you, Kathy and Lori! 😀

    And far as when I stop reading? Well, I USED to finish a book even if I hated it, but in recent years I stop much more quickly, and for one or all of the reasons you listed. I need to be hooked, the writing and voice need to be compelling—I want to FEEL something and I don’t want to get annoyed at the quality (lack of ) writing. When I’m trying to decide what book to read (or buy) next, if I pick up a book and regret having to put it down, I know I want it or at least want to keep reading. I can usually tell pretty quickly when I DON’T want to keep reading, and sometimes I can tell from the first page, sometimes a few. I also own books that I start to read and may even get a few chapters in, but I’m not pulled back to it. It takes a lot more for me to finish novels these days unless I’m blown away. So, yes, those first pages are critical, but that better hold up for the rest of the book. Too many times I’m drawn in by the first pages or chapter or two, then it falls flat. When that happens, I don’t push to finish. At one time I would’ve, but not anymore. I simply don’t have time to waste on something not worth reading, especially novel length.


  5. I generally give a book at least 50 pages. If nothing has grabbed me, full stop. But I recently started a book that had 3 sections for a total of over 700 pages. It was highly recommended. The journey was full of successful battles that didn’t seem to go anywhere meaningful. I finally quit after 200 pages. I want some meaning in stories, thought provoking ideas, challenges and transformations. I’d like to find stories of what I’m writing and I haven’t had much luck. If anyone knows of high/epic fantasy of another world filled with a variety of cultures that are thrust together due to environmental change and grounded in and challenged by a universal spirituality please let me know. Thanks and thank you Kathy for your good suggestions.


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