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Message Board Topic 11/19


Comsie

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Have you ever been reading a story, and been completely into it...you love the characters, you're intrigued by the plot, you're feeling the emotions...and then..the author does something that just THROWS you out of the moment?

 

I mean, one second you're reading and enjoying yourself, and the whole things just 'derails' at some point, and you just can't get that original feeling or interest back. The mood, for you at least, has been ruined. What happened? Where did the author go wrong? How did they lose you?

 

The question this week is, what pulls you out of a story? What elements in the writing or storyline cause you to totally disengage from whatever emotions you had invested in it?

 

Is it huge inconsistencies in the story? Is it spelling and mechanics? Is it giant plot twists that change the whole direction of a story without warning? Maybe it's the addition of something 'kinky' that you weren't expecting? Whatever it is, let us know what you think! What should writers avoid if they want to keep they're audience locked in?

 

Writers and readers have to build a certain level of 'trust' with every story. So if you take them on a ride, you've gotta avoid slamming them into a brick wall. :P

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Have you ever been reading a story, and been completely into it...you love the characters, you're intrigued by the plot, you're feeling the emotions...and then..the author does something that just THROWS you out of the moment?

 

I mean, one second you're reading and enjoying yourself, and the whole things just 'derails' at some point, and you just can't get that original feeling or interest back. The mood, for you at least, has been ruined. What happened? Where did the author go wrong? How did they lose you?

 

The question this week is, what pulls you out of a story? What elements in the writing or storyline cause you to totally disengage from whatever emotions you had invested in it?

 

Is it huge inconsistencies in the story? Is it spelling and mechanics? Is it giant plot twists that change the whole direction of a story without warning? Maybe it's the addition of something 'kinky' that you weren't expecting? Whatever it is, let us know what you think! What should writers avoid if they want to keep they're audience locked in?

 

Writers and readers have to build a certain level of 'trust' with every story. So if you take them on a ride, you've gotta avoid slamming them into a brick wall. :P

 

B) ....Cossie.......I would never slam an author for his change in style or storyline, the story follows the Authors perception of his characters. I have at times gone :wacko: WTF, but usually the plot returns after taking a weird twist, and I would have to assume the author debated on this course of action, due to writers block or simply not knowing what direction he/she originally intended to go or the storyline wasn't working to the authors liking.

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I read a story once, where it was going along great, and it was seriously the best story in the author's long list of great stories. There was a lot of foreshadowing for what might happen in the coming chapters, and the shy boy that was the main character was finally being pulled forcefully out of his shell by his boyfriend.

 

Then, I think, the author ran out of ideas, lol. the boyfriend had to move away. The rest of the story, which was a pretty happy and fun read, became a depressing sob-fest. The author completely ignored several of the plot points that were foreshadowed earlier in the story. From that point on, it was like reading a completely different story, and I couldn't get back into it.

 

Another thing that just ruins a story for me is if it's a first person story, and then suddenly changes perspective. Like not so much if there's one "This chapter is from Cletus' point of view" chapter, but if it keeps doing it consistently, I'll stop reading the story. Third person was invented for this reason.

 

That's all I got.

 

Oh, aslo tnos of bad tpyos & simbulls insted of wrods jsut anonys me. olo

 

^_~

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Typo's and poor/complicated grammar can break the flow, but they don't take me out of the story.

 

To take me out of the story, it would have to be something that appears to be illogical/irrational, or a weird twist that just appeared out of the blue.

 

I remember a print novel (not gay fiction) where the later occurred. It was in the third book of a trilogy, and the story just went in a direction that was completely unexpected, and didn't fit the rest of the story (at least to me). It was an ending, but I felt cheated and disappointed because it felt like a cop-out. The twist seemed to be introduced just so they could bring the trilogy to a close, with no real foreshadowing in the story.

 

On the other hand, weird twists CAN work at times, as long as there is at least a sense of consistency and rationality to them.

 

I can also be taken out of story if it becomes something I prefer not to read. For example, I don't read horror stories and a story that became one unexpectedly would turn me off. I might be able to make myself finish it, but I wouldn't have the enjoyment I had while I didn't realise it would become a horror story.

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I guess everybody hates typos and grammatical errors, but when the story is really good, I usually let them be, although I do tell the author nicely about it. But I don't make any suggestions about a story's plot, and that one turns me off. There are these stories that I get into because they're really good at the start, the characters are interesting, and the plot is something I can relate to. Then, somewhere in the middle, the author would make a note asking for plot suggestions because he's run out of it. I say goodbye to the story at that point.

 

What also throws me out of the story is too much rambling. It's annoying, so even though I really like the story I would stop reading because of it. There was this one story online that I really liked up to the sixteenth chapter, but after that, I think the author only wanted to prolong it for reasons known only to him. I think it's a waste of good stories when their authors do that. A story has to end when it has to end. An author could just write a sequel if he really wants to continue the story past its supposed end after the climax.

 

Continuous change in points of view, too.

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Once I suffered through 30 chapters to see a couple finally come together only for one of them to join the military and leave.

 

I HATED IT. Since openly gay men can't join the [uS] military, I have to wonder why a gay would even want to join. Guy goes away to honor and glory and leaves a character that I liked at home.

 

Were I the guy who was left to defend the homophobic nation, I can imagine writing a particularly venomous Dear John letter saying something to the effect of if the breeders want to kill each other off and its their damned club, let them have at it. We should have enough good sense to stay out of it.

 

There was nothing wrong with the story, I just hated that turn of events. I must confess that I held a grudge against the character and hoped that he was run over by a tank or something equally as gruesome for leaving that sweetie behind during the best years of their life.

 

I can understand stand by your man but thats taking it to extremes.

 

Once again- nothing was wrong with the story. It just stomped all over one of my hot buttons. It was in fact a good story up until that point, and probably afterwards, it just fell on the wrong ears.

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Once I suffered through 30 chapters to see a couple finally come together only for one of them to join the military and leave.

 

I HATED IT. Since openly gay men can't join the [uS] military, I have to wonder why a gay would even want to join. Guy goes away to honor and glory and leaves a character that I liked at home.

 

Were I the guy who was left to defend the homophobic nation, I can imagine writing a particularly venomous Dear John letter saying something to the effect of if the breeders want to kill each other off and its their damned club, let them have at it. We should have enough good sense to stay out of it.

 

There was nothing wrong with the story, I just hated that turn of events. I must confess that I held a grudge against the character and hoped that he was run over by a tank or something equally as gruesome for leaving that sweetie behind during the best years of their life.

 

I can understand stand by your man but thats taking it to extremes.

 

Once again- nothing was wrong with the story. It just stomped all over one of my hot buttons. It was in fact a good story up until that point, and probably afterwards, it just fell on the wrong ears.

 

 

B) ..............I know what you mean, I am still reading a verrrryyyy long story, and the author built up two important events....then glossed over them. I looked back thru previous chapters only to find nothing!!

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I'll be honest here. I'm a grammer snob. If I'm reading and catch a mistake, (and not something stupid and subjective, but like mistaking their/there/they're or further/farther or between/among or something along those lines) I have a real hard time getting back into the story.

Or when something really comes out of nowhere. Like the author didn't know where to take the story or just wanted it to end.

Or when I feel like something feels contrived. Like it'll just magically fix all the conflicts of the story. Then I just roll my eyes and stop reading.

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Although grammar and spelling mistakes throw me off a little bit, these don't get to me too badly. If a story has too many of them, I wouldn't have gotten far enough to be able to be thrown out of it by something else anyway :) besides, it's not like my grammar and spelling is perfect either :(

Oh yeah - is there really a difference between farther and further? I looked all over the place but couldn't find anything, but then I have been told once or twice that there is a difference (and last post above this one seemed to suggest that too)...

 

Anyway, what throws me out of a story most is... characters that go out of character :)

Most of the time, authors need not worry about this with me, because I almost ALWAYS give them the benefit of the doubt here, since it's THEIR characters and it makes more sense for me to have misunderstood them than the other way around... but sometimes I just really disagree with the choices an author makes their characters make, from a psychology point of view... I can't remember the last time that happened, or even if it ever happened, but if it would, this would be the worst thing for me.

 

Other than that, I don't like it if a writer doesn't go into enough detail. I like a story that I can read at a steady pace, without having to pause to let the plot and such sink in.

 

I also don't care much for a story that shows the author has an obsession with avoiding clich

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