As a writer, to improve my own creative writing I’d love to know what makes people skip pages in books. I can add my own reasons below, but I’d love to read yours!
1. Too much description:
I once read a traditionally published book where everything was described to the nth degree, obviously to achieve the desired word count. Boring is an understatement. I’d rather read a good plot with no fill-in pages, and if the book is shorter, then so what?
2. Too much graphic sex:
Constantly having to read how big his manhood is or what he does with it in minute detail with nothing left to the imagination is about as erotic as a cold suet pudding. At my age I’d rather he takes his manhood and boils it in a saucepan somewhere to be quite honest.
3. Too much graphic violence:
Ugh – what a turn off! I quickly skip over stabbings, shootings, or heads rolling on the floor etc.
4. Ethnic/native/slang dialogue:
If they’re speaking English but it’s in some kind of local patois, slang or accent, then I struggle to understand it and skip on down. I expect the author probably hails from that particular area and it’s natural for them to use it. However, for everybody else it’s…wtf are they saying?
5. A plot that moves too slowly:
I’ll skip along until I can pick up the plot again if the book is too wordy.
I’m a realist, and any pages given over to describing dreams will have me yawning and skipping on down.
So… what am I looking for? Do I read anything at all? Yes… a good psychological thriller will keep my interest until the end. I love witty dialogue too, and chapters that end in cliff-hangers which make me want to read more.
What are your reasons for skipping pages?