This was fun! And made me think a bit more than I expected. I was tagged by redgypsophila of Adventures in Writing to answer the following questions. As a screenwriter, I do read, but not as much as I’d like, so some of my answers may relate to screenwriting as well.
What are your top three book hates?
1. I don’t care for writers who try to copy the style of other writers. Someone like Chuck Palahniuk or Quentin Tarantino who have unique storytelling voices are bound to have followers who wish to emulate them, but because these new writers are trying so hard to ride on the coattails of another’s success, they often fail because they don’t understand that these established writers worked on their craft and their voice for years. There is nuance and style, and not appreciating this only creates copycats with no substance. Each writer has a unique voice, and it is knowing that which makes the difference.
2. I do not like when writers use the deus ex machina – the “magical” plot device that solves the current dilemma in order to achieve a goal. Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings immediately come to mind because they are both offenders. I realize that as readers and storytellers the further we delve into a world, the more we will learn, but don’t bring in ideas in one book that you never utilize again. For me, in Harry Potter it was the Time Turner in particular, but there are others. In Lord of the Rings, it’s the eagles that save Frodo and Sam. Either find another way out of the situation, or use the damn thing again.
3. Writers who don’t know their genre. I’m going to call out Twilight as well because one of the things that bothered me, in addition to a great many other things, was that the author said she really knew nothing about the vampire mythology. Then call your creatures something else! The vampire mythology has evolved over the years, but there are certain traits and presets we expect. An entire generation now believes that what she created is the norm. I have long been a fan of vampires, since I first read Dracula by Bram Stoker when I was a teen, so if you read that or watch Nosferatu then you’ll understand that sparkles ruined a genre.
Describe your perfect reading spot.
I live in an apartment in LA, and my dream is to have a house one day with a hammock in the back yard under a big tree. That would be the perfect reading spot.
Tell us three book confessions.
1. Okay, I will confess that I have not finished reading either Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. So my #2 book hate is based on the films…mock me and correct me if I’m wrong.
2. Due in part to #1, if I have seen the film I have a hard time finishing the novel. The Princess Bride is one of my favorite films. I’ve tried to read the book, but can’t finish it.
3. My literary education was not the best. There are a great many novels that are “must have “or “should have” reads that I have not read. I have a couple of lists that I work off of now. I alternate one mandatory read with one pleasure read. The nice thing about this is that I probably appreciate them more now than I would have had I been forced to read them.
When was the last time you cried during a book?
I cry during movies all the time, but in novels, not so much. When I was teenager, I read a book by Judith McNaught called Paradise. It’s one of my favorite books. There is a scene near the end when the lovers are reconciling that I remember really feeling their pain and joy. I’m expecting as I get further through Game of Thrones (see below) there may be tears.
How many books are on your bedside table?
Three. The first Game of Thrones, which I’m struggling to get through because of the above mentioned confession – I’m an avid fan of the show – Stephen King’s On Writing, and a screenwriting book.
What’s your favorite snack to eat while you’re reading?
I usually don’t eat while I read because I don’t want to get anything on my books. I usually have a cup of tea though.
Name three books you would recommend to everyone.
1. Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
3. Timeline by Michael Crichton
Show us a picture of your favorite shelf on your bookcase.
A small sample of my history section…
Write how much books mean to you in three words.
Escape. Adventure. Mind-expanding.
What is your biggest reading secret?
I’m a huge fan of Jane Austen. I’ve even been introduced as a Janeite, but haven’t finished reading all of her work. *cringes
Who I’m Tagging: (Because I’m very interested in their responses)
Happy Thursday everyone!