Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Stone in my Hand

A late post. I was in Barcelona, dancing it up.

I've just finished a rather bad book. It's not out yet but it will be (in the US at least). I won't name names, I'm not that mean, the author spent time making something and I'm sure they loved doing it. But I hated it.

I thought the idea was mediocre and the characters under developed. I didn't care about them and never actually understood their motivations or anything about the world they inhabited. It was lazy and ill-conceived with characters doing odd things and making odd decisions just so they could progress the plot along, their choices leading to capture or stumbling across important plot points they wouldn't have found otherwise. Anyway, it was very bad and it annoyed me that it actually has been picked up by a large US publishers.

What's worse is that after I finished it I picked up my own manuscript to work on it. I'm currently rereading chapters 21-25 to give them a polish. But when I looked at it it was like 'The dirt's still on me! The dirt's still on me!' I became terrified that I might be making all the same mistakes. I don't think I am. I hope I'm not. I try hard to get across my characters points of view, I rewrite whole chunks according to how I think my characters would react, letting them drive the plot, not the other way around.

I suppose there's a thin line between good writing and bad writing. Maybe, what I didn't like about the book was the author's flimsy grasp of story structure and not their actual writing. In short, I'm not sure if I can throw stones, I'm checking my walls to make sure they're not made of glass.

I'll just have to have confidence that what I'm doing is better.

Anyway, the novel is progressing, heard nothing from TT so I assume that's progressing nicely and I haven't heard from Waterstones. I'm beginning to think I haven't won. Oh, well, I'll post my entry on the blog as soon as its confirmed I didn't.

Thanks for reading.