Have you ever started a book but just couldn't finish it? Maybe the subject matter made your blood boil. Maybe the characters were off-putting. Maybe it was too much gore or perhaps not enough blood and guts. Maybe it was just plain bad writing.
There can be a lot of reasons. But what is that point at which you say, this is enough, I can't read this anymore?
I reached that point recently. I see the book right now - it's sitting on a side table in my office, bookmark still in it, waiting for me to pick it back up. But I don't think I will.
I quit reading not for any of the reasons I said above - well, maybe the blood boiling part. I just could not take the author's depictions of Southerners. I am one. Born in Georgia, raised in Texas.
I used to hate the TV shows where the stupid policemen had Southern accents. Never New York accents (if they had that, they were most like a mob character). The Southerners were always the fat, slow, dumb characters. Grr. I feel my blood boiling right now.
This book, a huge best-seller, brings it all back. Southern women acting stupid and readers believing that represents the South. What makes it worse is this is presented as non-fiction, tongue in cheek, aren't we cute!
What this all boils down to is, in your fiction, make your characters believable. You can put some regionalism in, but don't depend on stereotypes. Deep down, we are more alike than unalike, whether we're from Alabama or Indiana, India or Afghanistan.
4 months ago