Some great thoughts here on why our books might suck. Two of mine are out with beta readers at the moment and I’m getting mixed reviews…
My book was recently read by a handful of test readers. As soon as they’d finished, naturally, I asked them what they thought. All of them liked the beginning, the end, and my descriptions, but apart from this, they told me that they “didn’t know.” Putting your finger on exactly why a book isn’t very good can be difficult and hard to admit.
Your book is trying to be too many different things
“Well, it’s a dystopian dark romance set in pre-war Japan, but it features anachronisms and is retro-futuristic.”
Basically, your book is too complicated and makes no sense.
Your narrator is confusing
If you need to use copious amounts of scene breaks (***), indentation, or italics; the book will flow poorly.
I know it’s tempting to write a book from multiple points of view and different periods of time that interweave, but no.
Your book is about nothing
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