Normally, I post a review of a book that I enjoyed reading and can use as tips for what writers should (or should not) do while they are writing their books. Even if I use a book as a tip for what a reader shouldn’t do, all the books are ones that I like and gladly recommend to other readers. However, the book that I was going to review for today’s post, I couldn’t finish reading.
There aren’t many books that I’ve stopped reading. I can actually count them on one hand, and this book was by a best-selling author who I admire. I’m sure I’m not the only one who might have given up while reading this book. I also know plenty of people read it all the way through and enjoyed it, which is why I won’t name it. It’s only fair since I didn’t read it from cover to cover.
Before I gave up on the book, though, I read the last few pages, and I was able to conclude that nothing much actually happened from where I left off (around page 150). What did happen though, I was able to figure out in the beginning of the story.
Other than the boring factor, there were two major writing issues that nagged at me while I was reading. The first was the excessive use of run-on sentences. They were everywhere! My view on run-on sentences is that commas don’t fix them!
TIP #1: If you are tempted to add more than three commas to a sentence then that sentence may be too long. Read it aloud to see if it flows. If it sounds a little awkward, rewrite it or split it in half. Whatever you do, don’t keeping tacking on more commas and more words. A run-on sentence with a bunch of commas is still a run-on sentence!
The other problem with this book was that there were way too many perspective changes. Every single scene change was a different person’s perspective, and only a few people returned to continue their story. By the time I gave up, I was confused and a little aggravated.
TIP #2: Try to limit the multiple perspectives in your book to the key players in your story (2-5 at most), because after a certain point multiple perspectives become multiple multiple-perspectives.
TIP #3: To cut a reader’s confusion with multiple perspectives, create a sequence that a reader can follow from chapter-to-chapter (or scene-to-scene) so they will know which character’s point-of-view will be next.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this book un-review!
Is there a book (or books) that you weren't able to finish reading? Why?
What is your view on run-on sentences and multiple perspectives?