"Great story...too bad for the useless execution and/or wasted potential?"

Have you ever read a novel that started off great then eventually fell apart and disappointed you greatly?

Like it has so much potential that was tossed away in the middle then ending.

Or have you ever read a story that has a great premise and plot and overall great idea, but the execution made the whole story garbage in your opinion?

Bonus Question:
Is there a story for that you’ve read that was poorly written by an author that you had high hopes for, but just made you want to try the very same in your own way, just to do it differently and better than them?


Come gather here, everyone!

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I wanna say most of them :joy: They start off great but then they ruin it by shoehorning in some message barley related to the plot, or shoehorn in some information that breaks up the story flow.

Like man, I read this to be entertained, not know the history of Feminist Intersectionality. If I wanted to do that, I’d go read some articles.


Honestly that sounds more like the writing journey than anything else.

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All the time lol.

I think some of the stories that had decent storylines or started out great but all fell flat were:

Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Hazel’s narration sounded way too old for her and forced, so terrible execution of an angsty teen).

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (it started off great, but there’s a lot of questionable parts within the saga that definitely didn’t live up to the expectations).

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (too long winded and wasn’t executed the way I was hoping).

There has, and one of them was the Cabin by Natasha Preston, which I’ve mentioned before.

But I once had a novel called Ariella which was trying to be different than the basic YA tropes on Wattpad. It wasn’t directed at a specific novel, but it was directed at the same novels that constantly use the same tropes over and over again.

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Wow…it does. It really does!
looks at my past completed stories worryingly


It’s nearly impossible to keep intensity going. This is why I give so much leeway and don’t have my heart set on 1 outcome.

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So, like, it has been a LONG while since The Hunger Games series ended and became so popular, I kinda want to be a bit sympathetic in regards to this.

Hear me out a bit, like Suzanne hasn’t probably written anything since this latest book. Maybe it is one of those moments when the author was WAY too lax and bask in the fame and wealth of their popular novels.

And yes it hurts like hell when readers read the latest novel from a writer over decades later to get something that was pretty bad in their opinion.

I just want to know if Suzanne got too comfortable with the fame of The Hunger Games, wasn’t on her game like she was with her more popular book, or something else entirely.

I am just curious. Those things tend to happen quite a bit to publish authors or authors in general.

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Lots of books fizzle out like this! But the weirdest ones are the ones I like anyway.

One example...

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is amazingly awesome for the first 50% of the book. It’s amazing! Essentially a YA novel about a teen whose mother dies in a terrorist attack in an art museum (this is no spoiler since I think you’re told all this in the book blurb anyhow).

The whole story is told in a flashback since the main character, the teen boy, is actually in his twenties in the present day, pacing around in a hotel room when the story begins. He says, “Whoa, here I am pacing around in this hotel room waiting for someone important to show up. While I’m waiting, let me tell you how I got here…” and then he tells you about his past, his mother’s death and everything that leads up to him pacing around in that room.

Later he returns to his home town, but when he gets there he runs into someone from his past who says, “Oh my god, where have you been? There’s been major character death! Let me tell you about it in this infodump! Because the author foolishly wrote this book in first person pov, so a lot happens offstage while you’re out of town!”

When the important character finally arrives at the end of the book, he says, “Oh, here you are! Pacing around a hotel room like a moron. Well, let me tell you about the outrageously interesting things that have happened to me offstage while you’ve been pacing around. Here, let me give you an infodump!”

Argh. (ノ_<、)ヾ(´▽`)


Plently of times. But the one that stands out - The Memory collectors by Kim Neville. I thought it would be an emotional book about confronting the past etc, and more of a contemporary fiction book with magical elements, but it turns out to be… well, it’s kind of weird. The author goes from wanting to write about both characters with backstories and their separate but intertwining journeys throughout the book, to writing about a different plot direction for act two (which ends up nowhere, really), to writing about their trauma coming back and hitting them. Very interesting premise, with three different directions it could have been written in - it’s just all over the place, with the author doing a different way for each act.

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The Maximum Ride series is so guilty of this. James Patterson had a fun idea with loveable characters that should have made a great quartet, and instead he eviscerated it and dragged its entrails out for five more books that ended with the literal end of the world and then had the audacity to revive it for a sequel series. It wasn’t even fun by the end, it was exhausting. There were sixteen million unfinished plot threads, I didn’t care about any of the characters (and characters died and returned so often that it was impossible to be emotionally invested when one of them died/re-died), and Max and Angel were both insufferable.

Divergent kind of went off the rails, too. I actually like the trilogy but I can admit the worldbuilding was not all there and that was it’s downfall. Veronica Roth has another duology that I really enjoyed in the first book but ended up falling a part a little in the second. Roth apparently struggles with endings :sweat_smile:

Shatter Me started out okay. Then the MC cried and made zero effort the entire second book, then decided she deserved to rule the entire continent of America because she was angry in the third book. Also for some reason Taherah Mafi tried to convince us that the first three books are a trilogy when not a single plot thread was properly concluded.

The 5th Wave, now that I’m thinking about it. That ending was awful.

Scrolling through my Goodreads, I want to add Infinity Son by Adam Silvera to this list because wtf was that. I normally like Silvera’s work but that one was bad.

Lightlark was decent but not fantastically well-written. Although I will say that the internet is going way too hard on how bad it is. Mob mentality, what can ye do.

Um, The Shards of Excalibur series is one I’m nearly finished. It’s weirdly not the only indie-published modern Arthurian fantasy I’m in the middle of right now. I like the plot and the pacing, and I don’t hate the characters, but the writing style is killing me. Everything is spelled out. The characters constantly think through what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, how it’s making them feel ect. It’s extra annoying because one of the pov characters is the antagonist, so we get to see exactly what his next move is going to be every step of the way and it kills any suspense. I’m hoping that this series is just particularly bad, because apparently Edward Willett is an award-winning author.

Okay, i’ve procrastinated enough, time to stop ranting for now :face_in_clouds:


I got this feedback about my own story and it crushed me


Sorry that happened.
I heard you’ve mentioned that before a few times and that is the reason you no longer write fiction.

Have you ever thought of not showing it to anyone and just making it strictly for you?

That is what I am doing with my stories.
I get that art is meant to be “shared with the world”, but not everyone wants to do that.

Just keep the story for your eyes only, if you can.

i give myself this feedback about my own story and now nobody can hurt me :smiling_face_with_tear:


Yeah that’s what I’m doing. Makes you feel like a failure though.

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I get that…
I sometimes feel that way.

I know that would bite, but just remember that there are published and beloved series that have all sorts of derailments to pacing.

Tom Bombadill. There’s a reason he’s left out the movie version.

List of books I have gripes about in no particular order

Shadow and Bone trilogy [poor writing, good idea, confusing character]
The Orphans of the Tide trilogy [good idea, and then it became depressing]
All The Light We Cannot See [absolutely loved it and would have been a 5 star and not 4 star if not for the never-ending ending and the ending we didn’t need to know. There was a spot in the story that I can pinpoint exactly where I wanted the book to end.]
The Blood Guard trilogy [the third flopped a bit in terms of plot and left me disappointed]
Skyhunter and Steelstriker duology [first book, great writing. second book, meh, but overall good idea]
The Lock Artist [poor writing, good idea, confusing timeline]
Markswoman [great idea, okay writing, messy plot]
Melokai [horrendous plot, but good writing, I guess]

There are more, but I’ll stop here.

Yes, there were stories that made me disappointed. No, I never thought to try the same my own way. I just want to write my own stories with no relation to other books whatsoever. Also, if a book disappointed me in some way, I don’t want to waste my energy thinking about it after finishing it :stuck_out_tongue:


Marcus Heitz. Dwarves.

I read his book just entitled Elves, and thought I’d give Dwarves a go… Naaah! Not as good, and at times I wondered how this book fit into his world after/before/alongside Elves. Needless to say, I did not entertain Men (the third in his series).
Not a bad writer, has great ideas, but for some reason Dwarves just failed to hold me…


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