DNF is Just That

Janine talks about The DNF Dilemma on Dear Author.

DNF is not a grade I give out. If I review something, I’m damn well going to finish it, no matter how painful it gets–thank goodness I’ve not met an ARC that’s really painful yet. But I am able to push through to the end with good chocolate in hand. *g* That’s my magic fortitude pill!

I know I do this because I write, and if someone reviews something I’ve written, I’d like to believe that the reviewer read the whole thing. Moreover, sometimes it’s “It’s not you, it’s me”, like KristieJ said.

I also feel that DNF has a very very negative connotation and that there are people who think DNF and Wallbanger is the same thing. It’s not for me. If it was a wallbanger, believe me, I’d tell the world that it was a wallbanger.

I DNF a lot of literary fiction–I finish maybe 30-40% of literary novels I pick up at the library–because it’s not really my kind of thing, despite my obsession with trying to read them. I’m just about ready to DNF an alternate-historical novel–something I hardly ever read. I can’t think of a single thing I couldn’t stand about the book, but it’d simply be a chore to stick with it.

Sometimes it’s voice. This, I think, perhaps one of the most subjective components of writing. I always mention it in a review if I don’t like the author’s voice, because I figure it skews my grade of the book.

Maybe I’m being too kind. But that can’t be right. That’s so utterly wrong I must go force myself through that book I mentioned above that I’m about to DNF so that I can write a scathing review.

Also, do comment on Many Questions with NINJA to enter Racy‘s contest for a copy of NINJA, which is V. good.

2 Responses to “DNF is Just That”

  1. January 24, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    Sometimes it is me not the writer, but 9 times out of 10 if it’s a DNF for me, it’s because the book was meh–which is the kiss of death for me.

  2. January 24, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    I was just talking about this the other day too. There has been only two times in my whole life (I think) that I DNF a book. It wasn’t only that I didn’t think the writing was good but there were scenes I found objectionable or not suitable to me and the combination just didn’t win me over and I couldn’t do it. Now I have read books where I thought the writing bad OR where I found some objectionable content BUT I slugged through them because I know someone wrote them and there has to be some good in them (sometimes yes, sometimes no).

    I’m reading a book like this right now where so far I’m not thrilled with the writing but I think it could be a neat story otherwise and maybe it will get better.

    As you said May, I hope when my stuff comes out that people will give it a chance and read the whole thing before making an opinion. When I write reviews (in my other persona) I always try to find at least one good thing about a book I didn’t like. And again, that is only my opinion. Some people loved stuff I didn’t. That’s why there are so many kinds of books.

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