It was a kind of emperor’s new clothes moment. I wondered why I hadn’t looked at it this way before.
I read a review by someone of someone else’s book, neither of which are important here. What the reviewer said was that the two main characters in this novel surprised each other by what they said, and what they did. But they didn’t surprise him as a reader. And he felt he wanted to be surprised.
It’s back to the ‘show, not tell.’ Probably hard to do (I am sure I would struggle), but necessary.
I fell out with someone over a book they’d written. I liked it a lot. But I didn’t like it until I was about ten percent into the book, when it changed in an instant. And the reason was that the author described everything in too much boring detail, forgetting to make a story of the ‘introduction.’
One of the reasons my comments weren’t welcomed was that I admitted to not liking the main character in this first tenth of the story. The author pointed out they liked the main character a lot. I could tell. The description of this woman was such that you were meant to see how lovely she was. But I never saw that she was wonderful. I was told she was.
And that’s the difference.
Luckily – or sadly – she was murdered at this point, and I could get on with the story. Because I didn’t actually care she was dead. Not one bit. She never came alive for me. Not even in death.