You may have discerned by now that I read a lot of books. And, you know, every once in a while I actually write. I try very hard to research things I don’t know and I always question because I want what I write to be right, or as close as I can get. (And I really hate for people to point how how wrong I am. 😀 )
So I am reading this novel that has been traditionally published and it’s like the author decided to just sit down and write whatever came into her mind without thought and definitely without research. So, so frustrating.
Obviously the author is to blame for creating a story that has holes a mile wide and to blame for not researching how detectives really work (or just plain not watching enough CSI or Law and Order or whatever procedurals are on or not reading books where homicide detectives behave like homicide detectives and not some amateur sleuths).
But now I am also questioning the folks who are involved in getting this novel published. The fact is that there are so many writers out here. So many good writers looking to get published, who have written novels better than this–I know because I’ve read them. How did this novel get to be published? Was a lottery drawn that other writers didn’t know about?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this because I know most of you are also readers and/or writers. Do you feel frustrated with traditionally published novels?
I think I’m done with the rant. I’ve just made a cup of coffee that I probably don’t need because frustration has made my brain zoom and adrenaline bounce. I should probably find my zen place.
Back to your regularly scheduled programming.
9 thoughts on “A Book Reader/Writer’s Rant”
A friend of mine asked the same thing, but he thought it was just the YA books.
This was the subgenre they call cozy mystery. I haven’t read one in 8-10 years. Maybe they’ve all gotten sloppy. I usually have issues with some new adult and adult romances. It’s like: put the sex in, they will come (no pun intended) and don’t worry about logic or research. argh.
That’s very insulting to readers. I know there are times I put things in that generate questions – but the research is there, even if the results are variable or not widely known (at the time of writing – I like to push the buttons a bit, but I can always back it up with some type of research or paradigm(which mostly doesn’t go in the story – could be a tad boring)).
I haven’t read a cozy mystery for so long that I can’t remember … maybe because they were all carbon copies of Agatha or similar. I gave up.
For me the best romance is the one where we really get to know the people involved rather than how their body bits work together. Lust vs love – I know which I’d prefer to be well shown in a story!
And YA? they all seem to be in first person, present tense – with every second para beginning with ‘I’ – it wears me out, usually within the first page or two!
I like stories with interesting people who do things, who think logically (when possible), react believably (most of the time), and fight to achieve an end … like real people – not much to ask, I think.
I agree totally with you. I want an interesting story with good characters and I don’t want to be brought out of the story by things that don’t make sense.
As for the writing, that can be equally as jarring. I read something as you described not too long ago, this was an indie which had “I” leading almost every sentence. Do readers who are not writers not notice these things?
Yes, they do. Most of the kids at the library group look for that first, and if they see multi-paras with the ‘I’ starting it, they don’t read it, or put it on the reading list. I don’t think they’re alone in that – they have a facebook group, and that seems to be one of the major discussions (so they told me – I don’t have FB). Kids are savvy readers these days, and unforgiving of bad craft. Long memories and a voice that is shared to the world.
That’s actually really good to know because from ratings I’ve seen some mighty forgiving readers.
Funny, because even in my writer’s group there is a good writer who set a scene at night where a main character (this was a mystery) recognized someone over a hundred feet away. I questioned this and she said, it was a full moon. Now, I’m out every night after dark tucking in my ponies, and I know that even with a full moon you cannot recognize anyone at 100 feet away. I asked her if she’d ever tried this out to be sure someone could do this, and of course, she hadn’t. I read another story set in 1970 and she had a scene in a grocery story where the checker was scanning groceries. Obviously the writer (or editor, I guess) wasn’t old enough to remember the 1970’s or she would’ve known that grocery scanners weren’t even in use until the mid 70’s and weren’t in widespread use until the 80’s. I don’t know if writers just make assumptions or what? But this isn’t limited to lesser known writers–there is a multi-million dollar writer who wrote about a specific locale in Alaska and put deer there. Well, there are no deer in the location she wrote about. It’s a natural assumption that Alaska would have deer, but in fact, they are limited to a very small area. So, there you are. And yes, it bugs me.
Ugh. I forgave one author because she acknowledged in her forward that she was going to take liberties with her setting. I appreciated that to the nth degree. It is telling me that I as a reader am being respected.
To everyone else, research. Don’t take things for granted because your readers will know and they will judge your writing…and why shouldn’t they if you have not taken the time to research and respect your readers! (I am evidently still ranting.) ha.
I feel your frustration.