Is writing an engaging manuscript good enough?
Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
The other day I read an article by an editor in which she said that while we “industry professionals” become mired in correct grammar, strong structure in a manuscript, a well-thought-out premise–and in fiction, engaging characters and no head-hopping–the readers care about one thing: Engaging content.
Really? I’ve been an avid book reader from the moment my mother helped me to figure out how to read. And I have to say that I think it takes more than a compelling storyline to keep me going. If I find the research lacking or incorrect, the author loses all credibility for me. I’m done with that book!
If a novelist can’t follow the sometimes challenging assignment of staying in one character’s head per scene, I’m not feelin’ the love for that author and am tempted to set the book aside.
I recently read a very good book, but the author kept writing about “me and __________,” which caused me to shout out the correct usage of personal pronouns before I threw the book across the room. (I did, I confess, later pick the book up and keep reading it, but I was sorely tempted to stop.)
So am I a reading snob? Can a nonfiction book’s premise be so engaging you’ll ignore serious flaws? Can a novel be so compelling you’ll push on through the writing errors to find out what happened?