Friday, September 7, 2012

I’m not the best audience for this

Reminder: In A Fix by Linda Grimes is out now. If you haven't bought it / read it/ do so now. Don't know what I'm talking about? Go here.
Most of my blog readers are avid novel readers and / or novel writers. I’m guessing you’ve all encountered a book or two written in the manner I’m focused on today.

I suspect there is an industry title for this particular manner of putting a book together but I don’t know what it is. If you do – inform us. (Also, if you write like this – don’t take offense because there are many exceptions to my general dislike of this manner of formatting and I most often like the book content regardless, as you will see.)

I’m talking about books where chapter 1 is about character YadaYada. Then chapter two is about character BlahBlah. Chapter 3 is about character Whosis. And so on, and so on. Until we reach the chapter where Yada, Blah and Who intersect.

I often enjoy these books but I usually wish they were written differently.

Take, for example, one of my favorite books, by one of my favorite authors - The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue by Barbara Samuel (before she was O’Neal).

I loved that book but I couldn’t read it as written. I couldn’t read a chapter about Trudy and then read one about Roberta. I absolutely HAD TO KNOW the whole story of Trudy and Rick, first.

The same with two of Marian Keyes books. The Other Side of the Story and This Charming Man, were both excellent in that Marian Keyes, dark but hopeful way. Yet, I picked through the one and read all of Gemma’s story; then went back and picked through Lily’s story, etc. Same with the other one; all of Lola, then all of Grace, etc.

I read all of the words in the books, just not in a tidy, linear fashion.

If you read my blogpost here, you may have guessed that The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister was written like this. The problem was, though, when I went to pick through to find the end of the first chapter character, Claire’s, story, there were no more Claire chapters. And I really wanted more.

Do you enjoy reading books written like this? Is there a certain manner of writing books that you don’t like to read?

This also reminded me of another manner of writing, books told in letters. One of the funniest books I’ve ever read was written like that. I promise a blogpost on that style of book soon.


  1. LOL I just wrote a book like this. :) The chapters are short and their paths intersect fairly early on, but...yeah.

    1. I hope you heeded what I said about generally enjoying the content of the books; especially a book or story written by you. I always love your work.
      I also think the earlier in the book that the characters paths cross, the better.

  2. Hey, thanks for extra shout-out. That's above and beyond. :)

    1. You are very welcome. Now get back to work on book 2. Just kidding. You can take fifteen minutes off.

  3. I do enjoy those kinds of books. They're a bit harder in the first few chapters, getting into 4 (for example) character's storylines. But once that's been launched, I enjoy myself. I've never picked through to read each storyline! That's cute. :-)

    1. Cute - haven't been described as cute in a long time!