Among the many books I’ve been reading, one of them is a self-pubbed Sci-Fi Thriller that’s actually not at all horrible. The writing mechanics, grammar, and sense are more than clear. This is not one of those self-pubbed books where you can barely follow the meaning let alone find a plot. This book has a strong plot. However, the author would greatly benefit from an editor who would work with him on his weak characterization, use of cliches, repetition and the like. Despite these major weaknesses I’ve been sticking with it because the core idea is solid and every now and then I’ve been surprised.
There’s such potential here, and as I read, I continually regret that the writing isn’t better. So close to really, really good work. This is a book that, for me, proves the value of gatekeepers. Good writers learn from rejection. They go back and back and back and make the writing better until they don’t get rejected anymore. With this book, I feel like I’ve been cheated out of an amazing story.
However, for this post, my beef is with formatting. OMG. It’s SO ANNOYING!!! I suspect this book was an upload to Kindle from a Word document that used the (WRONG) default formatting for a novel. Because of the formatting issues, it’s even harder to stick with the story flow. Reading a page that has only 3-4 sentences on it worsens the problem with shallow characterizations. (Lord, 3-4 more drafts of this book to go in and deepen the emotions, and this story would rock).
Here’s what I mean:
Kindle App on iPhone:
It’s even worse in the Kindle App on the iPad:
Yeah. This formatting problem makes story flow almost impossible to achieve. The white space inserts mental space as well so that, with a story that is already (sadly) shallow in characterization and detail, the shallowness is even more obvious.
If your book looks like this, fix it. Please.