Are you the sort of person who has to finish a book, once you start?
I used to be. It’s a habit I’m trying to break. The reality is there are more excellent things to read than you will ever have time for.
Just last week I was reading Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov. Supposedly one of the ‘classic’ novels of the 20th century, Lolita follows the exploits of Humbert Humbert, a middle-age literature professor who becomes sexually involved with his 13-year old stepdaughter.
My suspicion is that like A Clockwork Orange, the book is more famous for its controversy than its plot. According to my Kindle, I got 65% through before the urge to read something else became too strong. The core problem was I didn’t relate in any way to Humbert Humbert. I didn’t like him. I didn’t want him to get away with it.
Lolita never really pulled me in, because I never really engaged with the main character. It might seem silly to read 65% of a book only to give up, but frankly there are too many other things to read.
You don’t need violence, child abduction and similar events to make an exceptional story. When told well, mundane everyday events can work just fine. That’s what people really relate to.
The challenge isn’t to tell more dramatic stories. The challenge is to tell more engaging stories.
To put the tools of successful storytelling at your fingertips, join the True Story Selling community. Your membership level is listed below.