Sunday, April 19, 2009

More Random Thoughts about Publishing

Well, I feel a little better today about the whole "book" thing. I actually got a book out of the library to read for pleasure, something I haven't done in a long while. The cover was gorgeous and inviting, the first pages crisply written, the premise very promising.

It hasn't lived up to its beginning.

I'm about halfway through and can see so many glaring errors in the story structure and characterizations, that I can't believe this ever got published. Except for the fact that the author has 19 other books to her credit, so perhaps this is an example of "brand" selling where the author has such a faithful following she can afford to be a bit lazy.

But, really!

One flaw in particular is my pet peeve. This is a romantic suspense, and the hero is a "hardbitten P.I." and former Delta Force Marine, who is a "loner" and a "nonconformist." So why, oh why, is he leaving a long, explanatory note for the heroine in which he calls her by her first name (Daisy) then adds " remember we agreed that I could call you that instead of Miss Keane? Just reminding you so that you don't think I'm being presumptuous."

Duh.... A guy like that would just say, "Daisy, I had to leave early. Here's what I need you to do: " and gotten on with it, already.

He also definitely would NOT favor a restaurant called Patisserie Valerie in which he had a croissant for breakfast every morning, kiss her hand when they went out for dinner, or say things like, "So, what did you buy for the cruise?" (meaning clothes.)

Basically, he's a woman in a guy's body. I really hate that! Really, really, really, really hate that. It means the female writer didn't take the time to get inside his head and understand him.

This is just one of several things that jumped out at me.

So, I feel a lot better now, for two reasons.
I must understand the art of crafting a novel better than I thought I did, or these things wouldn't bug me.

2. If she could publish 20 books, certainly someone will publish mine. I mean, c'mon!


Mitch Wallace said...

Amen to ALL of what you said! There are so many books out there that are full of sub-par writing, that we can only assume that SOMEONE will buy our work someday. It's just the law of probability, with a dash of common sense thrown in for good measure.

Here's my theory: If the writing is honest, then all will fall into place. And I do think that if you can pick up a book and recognize within it what's good and what's bad, then you're on the right track. That's half the battle right there.

But here's to both of us getting to the point in our writing careers where we can churn out half-assed dribble and still get paid! Cheers! Although, on second thought, I actually hope neither of us gets to that point. That would kind of suck...

Christine H said...

Uh, the getting paid part wouldn't suck Mitch. Really, it wouldn't. If I have to write half-assed dribble to earn some money, I will!

I hear sales of romance novels are up. Hmmm... what premise can I think of for a good bodice-ripper???

Just kidding!

Mitch Wallace said...

Haha, yeah, getting paid wouldn't be all that bad. Actually, selling my manuscript soon would be a VERY good thing, because I definitely need the money.

Laurie said...

Hi Christine, I'm here by way of Nathan's blog and I was disappointed my query didn't get picked too. I have a feeling that some of the popular queries will end up finding representation - and soon.

Good luck with your writing!