Friday, November 20, 2009

I don't know it all, but...

Other people's words often inspire me to write my own. With a scene half existing in my mind's eye, but not quiet clear enough, I opened up an ebook ARC I've been looking forward to reading. If I found any inspiration, it was to count the paragraphs of info dump (18), then to check the publisher while composing my complaint: Don't give me Dickens-like language unless you're going to give me his depth. Actually, since I've never read any Dickens that I wasn't forced to, don't give me either.

The publisher wasn't easy to find--no listing in the ARC itself, no declaration on the garish blog; more like a trail of cyber crumbs that lead to a new e-publisher with two books each under "Now Available," "Recently Released," and "Coming Soon." New doesn't have to equal bad. I was ready to stop checking out the book's background and go back to reading the book itself, hoping that beneath the painfully flowery prose, the promise of the premise would be fulfilled. (Now who's being painfully flowery?) But I stumbled upon one more bit of info: the author is one of the company's editors.


As a writer, I'm still floundering with a broken middle and won't pretend to be any kind of expert. As a reader, I say:
1. No one's going to tip you by the adjective. Less is more.
2. Write what you mean. While your metaphors drip with analogies, some things end up just not making sense.
3. There's only so unreliable your third person narrator can be. It ends up reading like I hold this thing to be true, and I will continue to hold it as true and cram it down your throat (in case you missed it during the initial info dump) as everything I write around it contradicts it.

Okay, unpublished writer to kinda-published author, having a guy who sort of works for you as your editor is like having your mom be your beta reader. Don't do it.

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