Love/Hate Challenge

Love/Hate Challenge

It looks like there are lots of challenges around this summer, it was only a matter of time before I was framed with one, I suppose. As it happened, Celine of the Down the Rabbit Hole blog was the one who got me. You can read her hilarious post here. As you can see, the challenge is actually about what you love/hate in general, but since this is an author’s blog, I’ve decided going with what I love/hate as a author/reader. So let’s the dance start.



  1. Do you remember that time you visited that place, the beautiful mountains, the blue sky, the rolling meadows… oh, wait, you’ve never been there, you just read it in that novel.
  2. Remember, you are not this character. Whatever you guts tell you, even if you sweat cold as the story unfolds, even if you feel you need advice about what to do next, you are not this character. Repeat after me, I am not this character
    Yeah, whatever. Now let me read on.
  3. Dear book, does this have to be the last page of you? That’s quite mean, you know? This means I have to step away and leave these characters and these places and you can’t do this to me!
  4. Dear fellow author, I’ve been a rookie of the writing profession too, once. You need everything, just ask away.
  5. Dear reader, thanks so much for your two-star review. You made a couple of very good points and I will take them into account in my next edition of the story.
  6. There must be a way I can get in touch with this author. For goodness sake, it’s 2015, Google, you useless thing, why don’t you find me a way to get in touch with this awesome author????
  7. Dear fellow writer, I’ve just seen your novel is finally out and I can’t tell you how excited I am. You need a hand with it, just say the word.
  8. Dear author, I’m afraid your story is not really my piece of cake, though I read through your first three chapters and I found there’s a lot to love there. Don’t ever get discouraged. Another agent will take your story on. Remember to let me know when it happens.
  9. This is so unfair. Oh, my goodness, this idea is so good. And this story is so compelling. Why, oh why didn’t this idea come to me? Well, but at least I can read it.
  10. It’s seven in the morning, I turn on my pc, I open my story file, I smile to myself and look at the half written page. Ok my lovely, here we go again.


  1. You start reading a story and think the opening is quite intriguing and you can’t wait to see where it’ll lead. 100 pages in, you’re ready to see something happening, but you’re a patient reader. 200 pages in, you’re really quite ready to see something substantial happening, but let’s not rush things with this author. 300 pages in, you’re more than ready… oh, the story’s over.
  2. Rules? Who cares about rules? What are they for if not being broken? All great artists broke rules, I’m just following in their footsteps. Who needs to know rules if we’re going to break them anyway?
  3. Dear reader, this is the first story I’ve ever written. And please don’t think it’s out of disrespect for you that I didn’t care to learn the art of storytelling first, if I don’t have a clue about point of view, or story structure, or building personalities and conflict. Believe me, it isn’t out of disrespect for you. In fact, this is not about you at all. It’s about me. I have a story within me and I have to express it. You understand me, don’t you?
  4. Dear fellow writer, here’s a PDF of my newly released story. Would you mind to give me an honest review by five stars?
  5. I’ve never written this genre. In fact I’ve never even read it, because I don’t much care for it, but lots of writers are doing money out of it, so… what will it take? Couple of characteristic elements here and there and I’m done.
  6. Dear fellow writer, would you beta read my novel, I really need a second eye on it. Please just don’t ask me to beta read you story in return, because I’m really too busy.
  7. You know dear character with the mark of death written all over your face the moment you enter the story, please don’t try to fool me. I’ve seen hundreds of you already and I know one of you when I see it.
  8. Dear friend, I’m new to this social media but I’d just want to tell you I’ve a book on Amazon for 99c. I’m very happy to be here, I’m a writer, you know, are you a reader? I really hope you are because I just happen to have published the most amazing fantasy story and even if you’re not into fantasy I know you’ll just love it. Just give it a go. Did I mention it will be up for free download all tomorrow morning?
    And would you please say something, I’m trying to be social here!
  9. Ok, the hook isn’t very appealing, but a lot of good stories don’t have appealing hooks.
    Ok, the first paragraph don’t really talk to me, but I should give this author a chance. Besides, not all stories start in media res.
    Ok, the first page is so so, but come on, in the 1800s stories took pages to really start.
    Ok, the first chapter didn’t really tell me anything, it was mostly exposition with a couple of flashbacks thrown in, but I understand  this is a complex story and I need to know things before I truly get into it.
    Ok the first three chapters are characters going around their normal life, because of course I need to see what life is in details before I appreciate an inciting event.
    Ok, maybe I just need to drop this author.
  10. Dear reader, I’m the main character of this story. Please understand that my author needs me to go from situation A to situation B, so I’m going to do a series of very stupid things no human being would do in their right mind. But of course you know I’m not a human being, I’m just a fictional character, so I trust you’ll go on happily cheering about my improbable adventures as if they were actually credible.
    Thanks for reading

And now I’m tagging, Ashley, Alex, Sue, Lillian, Roland, Crispian, lupaci1927, CW, Anabel, Cindy



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About the Author

I was born, raised and I still live near Verona (Italy), though I worked for a time in Dublin. I started writing fantasy stories as a kid. Today I’m a bookseller who reads fantasy, history, mythology, anthropology and lots of speculative fiction. Somehow, all of this has found its way into my own dieselpunk stories.

20 Comments on "Love/Hate Challenge"

  1. As I sit down to work this morning, your blog post is the first thing I read (tells you about my efficiency). And it’s the best thing I could have done. It was so much funnnnn. And incisive. But then again, it is you Sarah. Thanks for an uplifting start to my work day.
    Jeri Burns recently posted…When the World is CryingMy Profile

  2. Nice! I like your #10 under Loves. That moment when you open up your WIP to work on it some more is always magical and fulfilling.

    And I totally agree with your #8 under Hates. I’ve started unfollowing people on Twitter who constantly do that. If I’m interested in buying their books, I’ll buy them under my own volition, not because he/she inundates me with reminders about it. *note to self: Don’t do this when you’re a published author.*
    Sara L. recently posted…A Blogoversary Character Interview with Eva of “The Keeper’s Curse”My Profile

  3. LOL. The only one I have trouble relating to is the beta reading thing. I know my strengths. I can brainstorm ideas, help someone work through a plot problem, give advice on worldbuilding and character development. I’m simply not a good beta reader. I get too wrapped up in the story and miss things, or I get frustrated with seeing the same errors repeated. Why would that be a problem as long as I’m offering what I do well to those who beta for me?

    • Hey Rose, don’t worry, my problem isn’t with people who don’t feel they are good beta readers (though I think what you’re offering is a lot like beta reading, if you ask me 😉 ) but with people who think reading other people’s work is a waste of time (I’m not making this up, some people really told me this) and so they’re not going to do it, but then they dog anyone around looking ofr someone to beta read THEIR work.

      Personally, I think we should be willing to give what we ask of others 😉

  4. Well, generally I’d rather talk through a scenario with an author while they’re working than read an unfinished manuscript. “Idea beta” maybe? I find most authors want someone to read their books for them and point out errors. I just don’t enjoy reading a book if I know it’s not finished. I dunno. But that’s ridiculous, yes.
    Rose F recently posted…Silly Rabbit! Cartoons are for Kids! #5My Profile

  5. Oh, that’s me! Thank you – but I think I’ll have to pass this time. I’m about to go away and I know I will get behind with everything. I liked your love / hates. I’ve stopped following a few people on Twitter (not that I’m on Twitter much these days) who do hate number 8.
    Anabel recently posted…Cairnpapple HillMy Profile

    • That’s all right, Anabel. So I know I can still tag you next time 😉

      Lots of people do the hate #8 on Twitter, isn’t it? I wonder if they get any benefit from it.

  6. Number 8 for Hate. Every time.

    Number 5 for Love… really? A two-star thank you? From an author? Proof or it didn’t happen 😉

    Cheers for the tag by the way. I’ll squeeze it in this week if I can.
    Crispian Thurlborn recently posted…IT’S ALIIIVE!!!My Profile

  7. Might take me a while to grab the Love/Hate baton as started a 100 day challenge on July 1st – have to write 1k per day. So a blog post would count, but mind is on some character portraits. But beyond those….
    Roland Clarke recently posted…Confessions of a PariahMy Profile

  8. Ha! Love your lists. I especially love #8 under “hate”. They are everywhere on Twitter. Aack!
    Sue Coletta recently posted…Do You Really Know How To Show, Don’t Tell?My Profile

    • I know. I see them, I read articles cautioning against acting like that, everybody knows it isn’t a good idea… and still I keep seeing it.

  9. Oh I have a love-hate relationship when I get close to the end of a stellar book. On the one hand it’s often a race to find out what happens, but it’s also a ‘oh crap, only 50 pages left!!!”

    I’ve been quite lucky I think, I’ve never come across most of the stuff in your I hate list – well I have faced #1 and #9 before. But the rest… I’ve heard of it, and I always wonder ‘who are these people?’ I’ve heard of authors who approach book bloggers by saying ‘please review my book’, with a PDF attached and nothing else. It makes me wonder if they’ve never interacted with a human being before! Have you faced this first hand?
    Celine Jeanjean recently posted…An Interview with Lori MacLaughlinMy Profile

    • Everything I’ve listed happened to me, so yes, I’ve expereinced all I’ve listed. Specifically, the one who asked me for a review by 5-star was a friend, which made it a very awkward situation for me. I did enjoy the story, so I didn’t mind to give a 5-star, but honestly, I didn’t like to be specifically asked for that.

  10. Rules, I like breaking them. In a fine art class, a prof said know the rules before breaking them. I agree breaking rules before you know them and the consequences of breaking them could land one in jail.

    • I’m not at all against breaking the rules (especially in the crative field 😉 ), but I think breaking the rules without knowing them and without being able to use them effectively first is quite pointless and takes away all the power of breking them willingly.

  11. I love this list so much. It really encapsulates all the wonderful (and horrible!) things about being a dedicated (maybe addicted, haha) reader. I hate when a book I love ends as well… I feel acutely what is known as a “book hangover”… unable to move on until the mourning period has passed. 🙂 I’ll try to think of a fun list for my own blog!
    Alex Hurst recently posted…D.N.A. Novella Released!My Profile

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