So I just recently read a book that was so bad, I didn’t finish even 100 pages, and I emailed the publisher letting them know why.
Yeah, it was that bad.
That Got me thinking though, about reading a book, and going through 100 pages of it, and then abandoning it. I did the same with The Perfect Witness. And I learned a few things.
- First of all, it is OK to DNF a book. It’s completely fine. Even a little bit good, so that you know what you don’t like.
- 100 pages is a critical first impression for a book, period. It should begin to shape the story so you know where it’s going; if I’m still wondering who my main character is, I’m putting it down. It’s plenty of time to further the plot and get a reader interested. Compare the first 100 pages of Harry Potter to the first 100 of the first DNF that comes to mind, and you’ll understand.
- It’s also a good indication for you, as a reader, to figure out if you are actually reading a high fantasy novel, or if it just turns out to be crappy romance with no plot. Again, DNFing is okay!
If I ever work at a publishing company, I’m taking this stuff with me, and talking to everyone there about it. I think this rule is an important way to get a writer to get the plot moving within a good time frame.
What do you guys think about these points? Do you think 100 pages is enough time, or should I have pushed just a little bit more into that book?