Sunday, October 7, 2012

Flippin' Subjects

I have a confession to make.  When I'm reading, I have a tendency to flip past certain subjects when they crop up in whatever book I'm reading.  I know the writer worked hard on that stuff - trust me, I know - but some subject matter just isn't my bag.

For instance, there's this SF writer I just lurve.  Great science, gripping action, believable aliens, a little romance... It's just that sometimes this particular writer gets a little more indepth on the romance scenes than I enjoy.  They get, to borrow a word from Mom, raunchy.  I get to those and flipflipflip - while scanning to make sure I'm not flipping past anything crucial to the storyline, of course.

And then this author (sorry to be picking on them because I really do love their stuff) put out a novella in the same world, and it was not only raunchy, but it hit on another of my flippin' subjects - BDSM.  Pain and sex together squeeb me right out.  I don't care if other people read it.  It's just not for me.  So I flip past it.

I also flip through wordy descriptive pages.  Ever read James Fenimore Cooper?  Love the man and his work, and he does write beautiful description, but after the first few pages, I think I've got an idea of what the MC is seeing.  It's a forest, right?  With a lake?  Tada!

Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with flipping past certain subjects.  Everyone has their own tastes.  I'm sure I've written scenes that will squeeb people the hell out.  My friend and beta reader had a real problem with one of the scenes in Djinnocide, for example.  And my daughter found a scene in Blink that made her uncomfortable.  That's okay.  Flip past it.  (Well, unless I think you're reading for content and clarity as a beta reader, then try to forge ahead - or at least let me know you didn't read those places so I know they're not critiqued.)

Now, seeing as we all have bits we're not necessarily comfortable reading, I'm betting I'm not the only flipper-paster.  What I'm wondering right now is whether I'm the only person who not only flips past, but also avoids writing those subjects that squeeb her out.

As such, there's very little chance you're going to pick up one of my books and read a graphic sex scene.  Also, I will never have people hurting each other and getting off from it.  And yeah, my books are a little shorter on description than they should be.  (I'm working on that last one.)

So, is there any subject you're not keen on reading?  What squeebs you out?

(And before any trolls crawl out of the woodwork, I'm in no way saying the subjects that I flip past shouldn't be written.  I'm never going to tell you what should or shouldn't be allowed in a book.  And other authors shouldn't take it personally.  This is a subjective business, people.  It's all about taste.)

*I just made squeeb up this morning, but I'm keeping it.  It kinda means that uncomfortable feeling - a combination of grossed out and creeped out and nauseous with a twist of ewewewewew and a smattering of the willies.  For example, certain scenes I've heard about from 50 Shades of Gray totally squeeb me out.  (I guess there's a scene with a feminine hygiene product?  :shudder:)


  1. I'm a flipper too.

    I'm with you on flipping thru lengthy descriptions and detailed sex scenes.

    I'd also add torture scenes to the list...I flip through those too.

  2. Yep, I'm a flipper of description that lasts more than a page! Yet, I tend to overwrite description...hmmm, what does that say about me? Interesting!

    Everything else - I can go with. I will say, though, that if it doesn't hold my interest, I will flip past!

    Great topic, B.E.!

  3. I skim lengthy description but I don't even bother picking up books that contain BDSM. I suspect BDSM is faddish right now and it'll eventually fade back into the wood works for the diehard 'hurt me/kiss me' readers.

  4. I squeeb out over the same things you do. But when I discover an author makes a habit of writing too much of the stuff I dislike, I stop buying her books. S&M *especially*.

  5. I think 'squeeb' is an excellent word.

    I don't mind sex scenes, so long as they're not overdone. Not a fan of lengthy description, mainly because my brain likes to fill in the blanks, and if you over-instruct me on what to imagine, it takes the fun out of it.