Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sometimes Books Suck. It's True.

And yet, they got published.  They didn't just get published - they got an agent's attention who believed that book would sell and make them money.  How?

I am about 80% finished with a romance novel. Usually I would have finished it by now. I don't want to even though my ocd demands that I must. It is just that bad. Seriously.

I don't like the author's voice. There is no believability to the thoughts/actions of the heroine. She is not a sympathetic character. Plot twist after plot twist drags the story on forever, all of which would have been avoided of the two leads had had an honest conversation. All of it, dialogue, narration, and inner monologue, is written in a very archaic and formal way designed to reflect the era it is set in. Just not a good read.

It was one of those moments when I wondered how the book got published in the first place. It turns out this was the author's first historical fiction. Since then, that she actually has had multiple books published. Her reviews are stellar, yet when I read the pages available through Amazon, her writing style is just as off-putting.

I have read more books than I could count. In the past, the only times I have not finished a romance was when a rape was involved and the main character ended up liking it and loving the guy (Sorry, no means no all the time). So, unless I'm totally disgusted, I finish every book I start -- and almost every book has some entertainment value to it. I like to think I can see the good in most books in my genre. In fact, when a book is able to get through all the hurdles to publication, I assume it must have some redeeming quality. I really could not find any in this particular book, and yet it seems that many people enjoyed it. Heck, it got published!

This, of course, makes me wonder about my own writing. I am not published yet this book is. Does this mean mine is even worse? I don't think so. In fact, I recently read through Courtly Scandals and was impressed with myself. It was a well written good story. There were moments where I stopped to pat myself on the back. I wrote that! I'm awesome! And yet, I remain unpublished.

Sigh.

Addendum: I have since finished this book. I put it in the bathroom and made it through the last 50 or so pages a paragraph at a time. The good news is that the lead characters finally got their happily ever after. I wasn't sure they would. Then again, it is a genre requirement that the lead characters find true love. 

This is a revised re-post of an old blog. I was inspired to re-post it by Creepy Query Girl's recent post.

3 comments:

stu said...

Not only do books sometimes suck, but occasionally as a ghostwriter, I have been put in the position of writing ones that do (because the client has the final say)

And they have still sold well.

Erin Kane Spock said...

That has got to hurt. I'd imagine you separate it from yourself and never look at it again. :)

Andrew Rosenberg said...

It drives me crazy. It's one of the reasons I want to be a writer...because of all the times I've read something and thought "I can write better than this hack."
Probably true, yet why am I not published yet?

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