Say What? Second Verse Different from the First
I wrote another reading writer observation entitled “Say What?” in which the secondary characters in the novel I was reading all called the heroine “strong” despite the fact that her actions and dialogue showed, to this reader, a whining, weak character. This is another post on confounding your reader.
Last night I was reading a novel by a writer who will go nameless and who will probably not
definitely won’t be reviewed on this blog, at least not for this novel.
This was the sentence:
“His lean shoulders curved into a question mark, a tennis player’s stripped physicality from destroying Dexter with his backhand on Trip’s court . . .”
This, my dears, is the very first page of the novel. Forget the fact that I don’t know (probably don’t care) who Dexter and Trip are. I am stuck on shoulders that curve into a question mark. Imagine me maneuvering my body so that I can see just how this comes about.
I figure that after a few more pages, I’ll Google to see if this is some
weird new fitness description a la six-pack (not new, but you get my drift). As far as I can tell, it’s not.
I ask other people. Nope. No clue.
By thinking she’s being creative, the writer has undermined herself. She has created a description that does not only fail to describe but reaches a point of inanity.
As a writer, we want to keep our readers in the dream of the story. By concocting a description that only makes sense to you or one that you will have to spend multitudes of words to justify removes the reader from that dream.
Sinewy shoulders works a lot better than question mark ones…I’m pretty sure.
This novel is loquacious in not a good way. And, it will be this year’s first DNF.
5 thoughts on “Writing Reader Observation #12”
It drives me nuts when I’m reading something that is described in such a weird way that it takes me twenty minutes to figure out what the writer was trying to say and I’ve lost the thread of the story by that point.
Exactly! It certainly makes you realize that a succinct–accurate–description is the way to go.
I’m all for being creative, but it still needs to be clear.
And make sense. I’m still hoping that someone will jump in with a comment that will make it crystal clear what that description was supposed to me. 😀
Good luck with that! That was just bizarre!