Reply To: Learning by reading

Forums Fiction General Writing Discussions Learning by reading Reply To: Learning by reading

Noah Cochran


Let me just say again real quick that I usually don’t learn anything new by reading, typically there are no new discoveries for me. However, I think I get what you’re driving at with your examples, it’s more about getting ideas, and finding things that you like or don’t like in story.  Sound about right? That happens to me quite often so here we go.

Emma by Jane Austen – 3.5/5 stars

So, I was somewhat coerced (that word might be a over the top, but I’m gonna use it anyway 🙂 ) into reading this book by a few of my female friends. I have never read a book in the romance genre before, and frankly, they have never interested me. Now, to clarify, I really enjoy romance in books, I just don’t like books whose whole plot is romance. So what I discovered from this book, is that it is indeed possible to write a decent book with no antagonists, a lot of daily life routines, and a protagonist that is arguably the worst match maker in history. xD Okay, so those weren’t exactly great examples of learning  something, but one thing I will note is the copious amount of dialogue in this book. Some of it was becoming verbose (especially in a couple of the characters’ cases) but overall, I love dialogue. My point here is this: Authors, I want more dialogue and less prose! I’m not a prose hater, I just love dialogue and some books don’t have far more prose than dialogue.

Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith – 2/5 stars

Don’t read this book! Just had to get that out of the way. xD This book is fantasy romance centered around court intrigue (at least the second half was, the first half was garbage), and what I learned from it is something I keep running into in fantasy, so I guess I really didn’t learn it, but here it is: Throwing around the word magic does not improve your book! In fact, I plan to make a post on this sometime soon, but I think using the word magic greatly hurts a book (I won’t get into that right now). Regardless, this book threw around the word and then (spoilers!) the villain turned a bunch of people to stone in the second to last chapter. Worst. Ending. Ever. The second half of this book would have been a 4/5 but the word magic was thrown around for no reason and the ending ruined it.

The Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb – 2.5/5 stars

Listen up everybody: We don’t always need to see the coming of age tale of your character, especially in the most slow, boring way possible.  This book’s pacing and action make classics look fast. But the biggest thing that this book solidified in my mind is that I do not like books centralized so heavily around the main protagonist that all the side characters or other protagonists are dead boring. This is especially prevalent in first person books, but I read a lot of first person books and many of them are done well. The point here is, books focused heavily around one character with little development of side characters feel un-epic and one-dimensional.


I prefer the good old classical mwa-ha-ha villainous characters who are just evil full stop

Wait, Neasa my friend, you’re saying you don’t like villains with reasons for their evil? You just want villains that are shallow and do evil because evil is fun (aka, most Disney princess villains)? I’ll wait for you to answer before I start ranting. xD

This book really taught me that you don’t need to make your characters kiss if you want to write a romance.

Amen and Amen.

I’m not necessarily against two characters kissing before marriage in some specific circumstances, but two characters “showing their love for each other” by kissing here, there, and everywhere, is foolish and plants wrong ideas the reader’s mind.

Pin It on Pinterest