Blog Post: Dragging Novels

Blog chain time today. Shaun has this round's question for us.

What are three books you would tell people that they need to keep reading even if they aren't immediately sucked in by the first page?

It depends. As the saying goes, what is one person's cup of tea is another person's cup of poison. We all have reasons why we don't get through a story, and it might not have to do with the story itself. Life and time constraints can put a damper on a person's reading schedule.

Yet, in that same breath, there are stories that might throw off a person because of the lack of action. Or even worse, too much action. Ever read a story that has so much plot going on in the beginning that it leaves you totally confused on what's going on by the next pages? And trying to decipher all the action just seems like too much work for you to do?

There's also some stories that throw off readers due to a weak main character. No personality whatsoever during that first paragraph. Time to give up. Or should we?

I can think of stories with too much fluffy writing in the beginning, which I will mention in my book list. Another story I will mention might have people dragging their feet due to the character's dialect. Some people enjoying reading these stories. Other people have a hard time connecting with the character because they are speaking totally different than what the reader's comfort zone allows.

The way I see it; a person should never give up on that story at the beginning. It might taste like it's poison, but that plot could be the sweetest tasting tea you've ever tried. Or wine. Or beer. Or cup of cocoa if tea is not your thing.

Here is my list:

J.R.R. Tolkien,  The Lord of the Ring Series: The world-building can get a bit too involved. Some people have claimed it "fluffy." The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales are two more works by Tolkien that you have to really set your teeth at and gnaw on for a bit to get to the juicy tidbits. What I believe makes it slow is there is so much DESCRIPTIVE paragraphs. A scene that might take you a few words to describe can go on for paragraphs. There are times when the plot just stops. But this shouldn't make you stop reading.

Kathryn Magendie,  Tender Graces: I loved the book, but I'm sure the first paragraph may throw people off because of the character's southern dialect. I find the main character's flow of words spunky and unique. It's about a woman who must face her demons of the past after her mother passes away.

Stephen King,  Eye of The Dragon: My Gawd! That first paragraph is a whopper. In fact, the first paragraph takes up most of the first page to tell you the King was a good king who tried very hard to be a good king but didn't always succeed at being a good king. No, I'm not kingging.... er, I mean kidding.

This is my list. Sorry I didn't give you more background information regarding what the novels are about. But I don't want to raise your hopes up with the parts that I LIKED about the story that kept me reading. Much better for you to find those inkling little bits that spurs you to finish reading the story. Everyone's motivation is different.

Katrina's book list post before mine.
Eric's book list post tomorrow

Blog Chain: Writing Prompt

The blog chain has swung around again. Christine is this round's question master, and she posted a fun writing prompt for us.

Since we are all writer's, I thought it was about time for us to stretch our creative muscles and do a little writing. So, take the following topic and go crazy! Show us what you've got. Your story can be as long or as short as you choice. 

The topic: A dark and stormy night.

Here's my story. It came right off the top of my head yesterday and this morning as I was in the shower. I hope you enjoy it.
The dandelion sat alone in the grass, spotlighted in the silvery pool of light from the shining street lamp hovering above. I watched as a drop of water slid along one petal, a single tear cried from the passing storm clouds above. Grass was moist under my one cheek. At least, I suspected it was.

The numbness invaded every inch of my body. This happened. More than once. I had a medical condition. I forgot what it was called, some long medical word formed from a dead language that's supposed to be indecipherable to all patients so they feel inferior to the doctors who treated them. Nobody likes to have competition to their profession. Nobody likes to have the patient know more than the doctor.

I felt it happening on my way from Rachel's house. We had a few drinks. We had a few laughs. I tried to sneak a kiss in and she pushed me away. "Time to leave, Mike. My boyfriend will be back by midnight."

I wish I could roll onto my back. It's not to stare around the place. I knew where I laid. It was a shortcut in a patch of field behind the apartment building. I always came this way, hurrying toward my car parked in the alley a street away. No way I wanted Rachel's newest boy-toy to catch me with her. He was a bouncer at the local club. I didn't want his fists bouncing off the side of my head. As I had reached the field, the numbness happened all at once. It started from my toes and ran all the way up to my hair. I flopped to the ground like someone had shot me in the back.

I would have been happy to lay there, musing on my own thoughts until the numbness went away. It usually took several hours. Laying there on my own, on the grass, watching the rain cry itself out on me and my dandelion. But...

Oh god...

I never told Rachel about my condition. I could hear her nearby. Sobbing as the wail of sirens sounded again a few feet away. Several black shoes walked by again, small moons showing on the leather as they reflected the street lights. If I had to make a guess, those shoes belonged to the detectives examining me. They talked with a professional manner. A bit hurried for my liking. They clamied this was the second dead body they had to deal with tonight.

But. I. Am. Not. DEAD.

I screamed and thrashed on the grass. At least this image ran into my mind repeatedly as a white pant leg bent near my head. The paramedic took an official reading. All his medical doodads telling him something not true.

Please. Oh god. Please don't put the sheet over me again.

My world turned silvery white as the paramedic covered up my body from head to foot. My only company was the dandelion, sharing this white-shrouded tomb illuminated by the street lamp. Another drop of water ran along the dandelion petal.

Cry for me, little dandelion. They will be taking me to the morgue. And this time, I don't think the numbness will fade before the coroner cuts me open to find out what had supposedly killed me.

Well, that's my story. Read what Katrina posted yesterday and make sure to stop by Eric's place tomorrow for his story.