So I'm in the early middle of the book The Diviner's Tale by Bradford Morrow, and I'm finding it really slow reading, which surprised me because I love the premise of the story and usually read this type of fiction pretty quickly. I think the reason for this is mostly due to the fact that it's written as a mystery with a lot of backstory woven in early on in chunks--and now I'm reading with a writer's eye.
In my current WIP, I struggle with the art of weaving in the backstory and mystery elements without either going off track of the plot, or worse yet, losing the reader's interest. So, as I read this book, I am of two minds--one the reader, trying to soak up the story and be taken in by the fictional world, while the other mind is the writer who wonders what is working and what is not in this type of backstory delivery. I'm still not sure what I think about it, but it's certainly food for thought about how to handle my own writing challenges.
I also notice the voice of the character very strongly in this book, which I think is a good thing.
One stylistic point that is irritating me is that in several scenes conversations are not listed within quotes, but instead start with emdashes for each speaker's lines. Like:
--She told me to go the store.
--What did she need?
--Apples and bananas, said Jane.
These seem to be when the protagonist is recounting conversations not overheard directly by her, but still, I'm not sure it's worth the distraction...Sometimes it starts to sound like a voice-over in my head, which I'm not finding enjoyable.
Do any of you have thoughts about reading as a writer, or these kinds of issues?