Over the long Thanksgiving weekend, I read three books on my Kindle (compliments of many hours in the car and a portable DVD player babysitting entertaining my kids in the backseat.)
All of the books I have downloaded are $3.99 or less because I search for bargains. In this price point, I set my expectations low, reminding myself that “you get what you pay for.” I was pleasantly surprised by a couple of them because the typos were minimal, grammar errors were not distracting and the plots drew me in. I’m not bothered by a few technical errors if the story grabs my attention.
The third book did interest me, but the characters seemed a bit too perfect. The unrealistic nature of the characters was most obvious during an argument between a husband and wife.
The man had been told he would never be able to go back the job he loved, and could possibly have a deadly disease. Faced with a family to raise, restlessness of not working, and wondering how long he would live, he was sulky and being (understandably) difficult.
The wife finally called him on it and instead of being defensive, he readily admitted he was wrong and said he would change. That’s it; problem solved. All of his inner turmoil at having his life turned upside down was fixed by this discussion. It reminded me of a sitcom, where everything is tied up in a tidy bow at the end of the half hour.
In my experience, disagreements haven’t worked out like this. (Maybe this author needs to write me a marriage :)) After each discussion, loose ends are pulled together into a disheveled clump, only to unravel a bit before the next disagreement untangles some of the snarls. Sure, resolution does come, but it’s a long process. And, thankfully, we haven’t even had to work through the emotions that come with permanent disability or a life-threatening illness.
Maybe I’m just too stubborn and disagreeable, but my inability to believe the conflict and resolution booted me right out of the story. From the distance, I noticed more “cheesy” eye-rolling dialogue that might not have hit my radar if I’d been immersed in the story.
I think we’ve all seen “cheesy” in our reading (and possibly writing), whether it be a word, phrase, situation or character that made us roll our eyes. Do you have any examples to share?