So, I’m reading one of my free Kindle downloads (Project Moses by Robert E. Lowe – no, not that Rob Lowe). It’s written by a ‘Pulitzer Prize winning author’ (which, for the record, is an incredible accomplishment – this fact does not, however, make this author a particularly good fiction writer, nor does he have an Amazon author page (!) for me to determine if he is self published or not). Although the reviews would tell you otherwise, for the most part the story is bland and 14% in, I’m not too bothered about caring for the protagonist. In fact, the main thing distracting me from the story is the constant use of bold and italics.
I’m not sure where it is in Strunk and White, but I was always under the impression that a good author (or even a half way decent one), would not need to rely on forcing the audience to see things their way. Nearly every other page has something bolded or italicized, causing me to get irritated and distracted.
I’ve thought to my own writing, and perhaps early on I dropped an italicized word or phrase, but in my most recent 150,000 words, I can’t think I’ve thought so little of my audience as to force them to read things my way.
Am I being overly sensitive? How do you feel with these words?