It Made Me Mad.

Recently one of our neighbours came over with a bunch of ‘light reading’ books she thought I might be interested in. Since I am addicted to reading, sure enough, I did want them. Sometimes I just can’t get to the library, you know?

One of them has me fuming. This author, who shall remain nameless here, is an appalling writer. Here’s my list of complaints:

She has an allegedly ‘feisty’ heroine whose feist seems to be limited to stumbling into the most far-fetched of situations and being able to draw conclusions based on the most tenuous of connections.

She builds suspense through “Hmm, I sense something’s off about him,” thoughts in her characters. Furthermore, she uses the third person limited omniscient to build what she is labouring under the illusion is called suspense: IE, May wondered if there was something wrong with Jack.

She has characters doing totally random things. Why was there a boring couple writing an article on how to have an exciting relationship? Was it meant to be funny? Then why was the husband a closet Lothario? No reason? Oh, right, then.

She ‘plots’ by having people do seemingly random things, and then explains it all at the end through an implausible ten-second conversation: Someone was causing havoc in the novel with small acts of vandalism. On the fifth-to-last page of the book, two other characters have a conversation where they decide to stop telling the bellboy to commit the acts of vandalism, now that their clothing line is going to be famous. Okay. One, this is how you tie up a mystery when you are in Grade Four. Second, the vandalism had no actual effect on the characters’ fate or the plot of the book.

This woman has a multi-book deal. I am convinced I need to keep writing, because, by God, I know I can write better than she can.

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