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Not true. I can't tell you how many books I've given up on that I started out enjoying. When I was younger, I had a "finish what you start" ethic, and I'd plow on through once I started reading, wheth

Your protagonist doesn't have to be an intellectual genius, but she does need to have common sense.  I just stopped reading a novel because the main character did something incredibly foolish, even th

me reading this: *panics* THIS SOUNDS LIKE MY CHARACTER   also me: *remembers that my book is not published* oh yeah duh     but still XD book characters are stupid sometimes.

42 minutes ago, Ky_GirlatHeart said:

 

@ThePerilousPen Why do you say that? 😂😂

ehhh well for one her endings are sucky. Like come on woman, not every chapter has to end like it’s the end of a novel 🙄 if you don’t give me a cliffhanger or something that grabs my attention... well then I won’t read the next chapter. 

  Aand some other things I don’t want to get into on this site. Long story short,  I just... I don’t like her stuff and I’m not sure it’s the best model for people in some ways. 

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2 hours ago, Ky_GirlatHeart said:

@jadijohnson I started reading Someone Like You by Karen Kingsbury a while back but never got the chance to finish it. That's the book with Madison, right?

 

@ThePerilousPen Why do you say that? 😂😂

Yes, it is.  It's one of my favorite books by Karen Kingsbury.  But it does get rough!!

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58 minutes ago, Ky_GirlatHeart said:

@ThePerilousPen Ah, I see. I've never really paid attention to the endings of chapters being similar to the ending of a novel. I think I may or may not write that way... Can't say for sure though. 😂

It's definitely better to end chapters (and scenes!) with a cliffhanger that makes the reader quickly turn the page and keep reading.  You don't want the reader to think it's a good point to close the book and go do the laundry!

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20 hours ago, jadijohnson said:

Well, the author sure had me fooled!  I was totally hooked on the book.  Maybe that's why I was so disappointed.  I thought the whole book was going to be great.

 

I think what we might have here is a cautionary tale, not just about writing, but about life.

 

The mere fact that we've started a task well is probably a terrible excuse for taking sloppy shortcuts once we've started. The fluffy old truism about the chain and its weakest link does really apply in a lot of places.

 

I know nothing about the book, but it might be that a little careful plotting could have had the character making reasonable choices, but failing just because The Real World Sneaks Up On You. 

 

OTOH, might it be possible that the character arc involves a person eventually learning the hard way to put more thought into her choices? A person who blames all their own bad choices on other things might be a reasonable intermediate step in that sort of character development...

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2 minutes ago, Wes B said:

 

I think what we might have here is a cautionary tale, not just about writing, but about life.

 

The mere fact that we've started a task well is probably a terrible excuse for taking sloppy shortcuts once we've started. The fluffy old truism about the chain and its weakest link does really apply in a lot of places.

 

I know nothing about the book, but it might be that a little careful plotting could have had the character making reasonable choices, but failing just because The Real World Sneaks Up On You. 

 

OTOH, might it be possible that the character arc involves a person eventually learning the hard way to put more thought into her choices? A person who blames all their own bad choices on other things might be a reasonable intermediate step in that sort of character development...

You made some good points, Wes.  But here's the thing.  If a young woman in her 20's gets into a car with a man she doesn't know, wouldn't you think she should've known better??  Even children know they shouldn't go anywhere with a stranger.  That's why perps use lures like ice cream or a lost puppy.  They know kids won't leave with them otherwise. If this character had tried to run or fight back, I would've stayed with the story.  But she willingly got into this man's car.  She stopped being the heroine at that moment.  It's not like she was trying to save someone.  That would've been different.  She was just being foolish.

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Jadi, I would not try to argue on the matter, 'cuz I haven't read the story and you have. I merely try to explore the world of possibilities that are out there. There are a lot of stories in which the MC is foolish, precisely because there are a lot of people out there who are foolish, and our disbelief might not be strained because they appear in a story. If the author specifically presented the character as wise, competent and incapable of this kind of error, then what you're describing would be an inconsistency. It would match the cautionary tale, I'd mentioned above, and I'd agree with all you've said.

 

OTOH, I look for possibilities, because I learn from them, too. Stories like Joyce Carol Oates' short, Where are you going? Where have you been? are powerful, precisely because the world is filled with people who think their decisions outweigh common sense. Oates' story is its own cautionary tale to those kinds of people, and the MC makes a tragically similar kind of mistake. We may not be the ones who would make those decisions, but sometimes a story passes through a train wreck to get to its destination. (In Oates' story, it gains even more power by ending right where the train wreck is about to impact...)

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12 minutes ago, Shamrock said:

While I agree with you  @jadijohnson  the sad fact is that there are women who will do that even in this day and age. Just listen/read the news.

 

Maybe that is the author's point. Just a thought.

I know what you mean.  I guess what really bugged me was that this guy promised to help her (aka ice cream or lost puppy), and she went with him without even knowing him.  And he wasn't even a friendly, nice-looking guy.  He was a shady character with questionable morals.  I still think the author just wanted to heap on more trouble for her heroine, but she went about it the wrong way.

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1 minute ago, jadijohnson said:

I know what you mean.  I guess what really bugged me was that this guy promised to help her (aka ice cream or lost puppy), and she went with him without even knowing him.  And he wasn't even a friendly, nice-looking guy.  He was a shady character with questionable morals.  I still think the author just wanted to heap on more trouble for her heroine, but she went about it the wrong way.

 

That’s called dramatic irony.

 

The audience of a horror movie knows the MC shouldn’t go into the haunted house, but the MC goes into the haunted house

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Posted (edited)

I want to head off one more argument before it comes up.  The protagonist isn't some naive girl from Iowa who knows and trusts all her neighbors, so she would naturally trust this stranger who looks like a criminal.  That isn't the case in this story.  The protagonist is a young woman who has lived a less than ideal life.  She knows there are bad people in this world who would easily take advantage of someone else.  That's why her woman's intuition was telling her not to get into the car.

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On 5/7/2021 at 11:22 AM, Shamrock said:

but doing it credibly is the tricky bit.  

The sign of a brilliant author is to take the utter stupidity of humans, and make it seem plausible enough to build a plot around. (Almost sounds like the Bible, doesn't it?)

The mistake or failing of your author, @jadijohnson was to not build a strong case around the stupid choice. Let that be a warning to us!

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7 hours ago, jadijohnson said:

I want to head off one more argument before it comes up.  The protagonist isn't some naive girl from Iowa who knows and trusts all her neighbors, so she would naturally trust this stranger who looks like a criminal.  That isn't the case in this story.  The protagonist is a young woman who has lived a less than ideal life.  She knows there are bad people in this world who would easily take advantage of someone else.  That's why her woman's intuition was telling her not to get into the car.

 

Hooo boy

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8 minutes ago, jadijohnson said:

Do you see why I was frustrated?  You know no street-smart girl would get into a car with a man who looks like he would rob his own parents.  I just don't buy it.  

 

The question is, how did the author string you along that far without you realizing?

 

they should foreshadow an MC making a dumb move like that

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15 minutes ago, Wesley Southern said:

 

The question is, how did the author string you along that far without you realizing?

 

they should foreshadow an MC making a dumb move like that

The protagonist never made a dumb move until that moment.  She used her head and actually cared about her well-being.  She was in survival mode the minute the danger hit.  I think that's why this moment stood out so much.  Why would she suddenly risk her life when she'd been so careful up until then??

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8 minutes ago, jadijohnson said:

Why would she suddenly risk her life when she'd been so careful up until then??

Was there anything in the chapter or in previous chapters that gave a subtle hint? Maybe the guy looked like a long-lost family member or family friend? Maybe the car seemed familiar? Maybe he offered her Twizzlers and she thought, "Oh, yeah, totally!"?

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15 minutes ago, jadijohnson said:

The protagonist never made a dumb move until that moment.  She used her head and actually cared about her well-being.  She was in survival mode the minute the danger hit.  I think that's why this moment stood out so much.  Why would she suddenly risk her life when she'd been so careful up until then??

 

If it was that good, I’d keep reading!

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41 minutes ago, Ky_GirlatHeart said:

Was there anything in the chapter or in previous chapters that gave a subtle hint? Maybe the guy looked like a long-lost family member or family friend? Maybe the car seemed familiar? Maybe he offered her Twizzlers and she thought, "Oh, yeah, totally!"?

Nope!  She'd never met him before.  I'd have to look back and see how he discovered she even had a problem.  I've read other books since giving up on this one, so it's a bit hazy.  But I'm sure I could've let it go if it made any sense at all.  Like I said, I was really enjoying the book before this scene.  

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38 minutes ago, Wesley Southern said:

 

If it was that good, I’d keep reading!

The problem is, I lost my respect for her the minute she got in that car.  I actually did keep reading, but like I said, she just complained about how lousy her life became because of that one mistake.  I couldn't stand it.  She acted like nothing bad should've happened!!

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5 minutes ago, jadijohnson said:

The problem is, I lost my respect for her the minute she got in that car.  I actually did keep reading, but like I said, she just complained about how lousy her life became because of that one mistake.  I couldn't stand it.  She acted like nothing bad should've happened!!

 

Entitled MCs are the worst!!

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47 minutes ago, Wesley Southern said:

 

Entitled MCs are the worst!!

You got that right!  She should've at least owned up to her mistake instead of acting like it was just bad luck and the guy was a horrible person.  She could tell he was bad.  That's why her intuition was yelling at her to get away while she still could.

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