I love writing. There is nothing like hitting that perfect turn of phrase or setting up a scene for that one action or zinger that leaves the reader with a grin or a laugh or a gasp. For me, the hardest part is the planning of a book. Plotting out the story arc and developing the pacing are excruciating when all I want to do is get to the scene that inspired the story. Because of that, I am not a particularly fast writer. I can churn out pages, certainly, but I end up spending an inordinate amount of time on editing and rewriting – cutting scenes and even whole characters to push everything to fit into a neat plot. I’ve heard the style generously called ‘organic’.
Whatever you call it, I want my writing to be good. To make the reader want more. To make me feel excited about what I have done and eager to know what the reader felt and experienced as they read. I cringe at some things I wrote early on that were…not so good.
Having said all of that, I just finished reading the worst book I have ever read. It bears repeating.
The. Worst. Book.
There were parts where I wanted to like the protagonists, but I just couldn’t. They changed their minds and even their personalities – what little personality that was expressed – throughout the story. I kept waiting for the conflict. There were hints of it, some tension, and I was prepared for something dramatic. When the climax finally arrived, I didn’t worry about what would happen. I wasn’t thinking about the possible ways it could be resolved. All I was thinking was, ‘this guy’s a dick’. (That would have been the protagonist I was referring to.) By the end I had changed my opinion to thinking the male lead was just a moron, and the female lead had less emotional maturity than a seventh-grader. It felt like buying theater tickets and then seeing a one-man show regarding dental hygiene. And not in a funny way.
The female lead actually said, “take me”.
It was not done ironically.
The whole time I kept thinking, ‘this could be better’. I can do better. I’ve been dragging my feet on multiple projects, and I needed to re-dedicate myself to what I really want to do, what I love to do: write. Stay tuned, because I think I am ready to get real here.
I’m going to give readers that perfect phrase and scene. They are going to grin and laugh and gasp.
Because I am a writer.