A while back someone (I believe it was Diane C. but for the life of me I cannot find the comment) said something along the lines of readers being willing to forgive flaws in an authors style or story if the connect with the character. Of course, I could be wrong in remembering this, but the idea has been playing around in my head for a month or three. Do we as readers forgive obvious errors (grammatical, plot, etc) if we can identify or like the characters we follow? Can we forgive an obvious deus ex machine moment by the author to move along the plot (something that goes against the nature of the characters as they’ve been set forth) because we like the style or the voice?
What is your breaking point as a reader of fiction (scifi, fantasy, romance, mystery)? And when (and why) do you decide you love something enough to recommend it to friends or keep it on your bookshelf?
I ask because I just finished a novel where I did not identify with the main character and therefore could not justify any of his/her actions. I realized that had I liked this person (or even disliked them immensely but found them intriguing none the less), I would have been able to make the leaps in logic that the author wanted me to as well as forgive some shoddy story telling.
So how about it y’all. What works (or doesn’t) for you when you read?
(I put a longer column up tomorrow, but I want to incorporate some of your feedback.)