I’m an impatient reader and I’m sorry for it. Mostly.
Most of the books I read I blaze through, skipping ahead, scanning for important words and passages, impatient to get to the meaty actiony parts.
And most of the time this works. The actionless drivel (or even the more literary stuff) I slog through, meanders along — it’s often prose like describing breakfast for people who are about to die. So, I tend to skip these passages. (Tell me, why would you bother describing a detailed breakfast for someone whose head is about to explode? Criminy, just get to the rip-roaring sequences and leave the characterizations for those folks who are important to the story.)
And therein lies the problem. Occasionally, in some books, the author has spent the time to write a scene where important features of the story, the plot — the reason why a character might do a thing or need a thing — and I skip it. I skip it because this communique happens during some mundane (but possibly well written)… “We’re enjoying a spot of soft-boiled egg, clotted cream and muffins, won’t you join us? And, oh by-the-way, Johnny-boy has the plague…” type of scene.
Why does this matter? Well, here’s the crux of the whole post: I write such scenes. I may linger on a character, for a moment, however brief, where something important is exposed, ‘leaked’ you might say, which is critical to the entire-bloody-story. And I expect that readers will have bothered to read this exact part of the story.
And you can see where this is going — I, for one, would probably be the WRONG person to even read my own damn story! Because I’d skip that very-important-part. How sad is that?
Sad. Sad indeed.