I just came across this blog post on Bookmarked Pages about DNFing this afternoon while taking a break from being obsessed with young Axl Rose, eating cheese popcorn and working on my sequel. And I got to thinking about how the whole DNF thing is basically exactly the same as LOVE.
What’s a DNF? In this context, it’s a book you Did Not Finish. As in, Outlander was so long and the sex scenes bugged me so I DNFed.
As I was reading this post I thought about my own reasons for doing a DNF. The main reason I DNF is if I’m just not enjoying myself that much, if there’s no spark, no connection. If the book isn’t making me want to pick it up and read it it’s looking like a DNF.
Do you know how many books there are in the world? I don’t. No one does! Now that we have self publishing on the internet pretty much every person on the planet is working a novel, which means that including all the books already written, there are a hell of a lot of them out there. So why are you reading a book you don’t love? Why are you reading anything less than a page turner?
Some reasons I’ve done a DNF:
1. The plot is going nowhere. Nothing has happened for about 100 pages.
2. The characters suck, you don’t care about any of them.
3. It just annoys the hell out of you for some reason – bad sex scenes (my bugbear!), unrealistic dialogue, things that don’t make sense, people dressing badly, annoying characters, etc. etc.
4. It’s really badly written – I actually don’t mind a badly written book if it’s got a good story, The Ghost and the Goth books are a good example of this, not great literature, but a fast paced cute story with a crushable protagonist.
5. It’s not your style, you don’t connect, you don’t know why, it’s just not working.
6. You have a pile of books about a mile high of other books to read, including a John Green book.
7. Your life is too short for this.
So why do you keep going when you should probably just DNF?
1. You think it’s going to get better. Hello, you’ve read more than half of this book, it’s had it’s chance to woo you!
2. You don’t want to seem like some kind of failure. Reading a whole book you don’t like is not a success people!
3. Everyone else read it and thought it was awesome. There must be something wrong with you. Don’t worry, I’m the only person I know who has liked The Ghost and the Goth books, who cares? You can DNF that book, I won’t change the way I think of you. If I did I would be a jerk. I also DNFed The Host even though I loved Twilight, so yeah. No judgement here.
4. You have nothing better to do. OMG, go to a book store or hit up Good Reads or Amazon or one of my fave sites, FYA and look at the book reports for inspiration because there are SO MANY GOOD BOOKS in the world. Or send me a message and I’ll send you some chapters of my current draft and you can give me some feedback. Or look at cats on the internet because that’s fun too.
So how does this relate to relationships? Argh, do I have to spell it out? This whole post has been a metaphor for your relationship!
I’m so lucky because my current relationship is like a John Green novel. But I’ve been there kids, I’ve been in a DNF, quite a few actually. And sometimes, you just have to put that book down, go out to Waterstones with a Starbucks in your hand and find the YA (or genre of your fancy) section and browse around a little because there are WAY too many good books out there to be reading something you don’t just love.