Friday, 5 June 2015

Finding encouragement

I was feeling blue last time I posted, due to the way my work had sneakily transformed itself into something only fit for the bin while I've been looking the other way.

I'm still reluctant to read on - fearing more of the same. But one of my procastinating activities was to read a book which had won a prize in roughly the genre I write in.

I was told to expect a twist; I was told that this author is very skilled. So I bought the book, despite it costing more on the kindle than the usual books I buy.

And then I started to read. And it was bad. It was poorly written, inaccurate to the point of annoyance (certain aspects of the main character's life matched mine, and this then led to a lot of frustration when it was clear that the author had no idea what she was talking about). It was sketchily edited too - I was irritated by such small details as a day that seemed to skip to nighttime when it was lunchtime, and someone described by the POV character as having their back turned, and their face fuller than usual. Excuse me? How can you tell if they have their back to you? And how come no-one picked up on this before publication?

This book has good reviews; author endorsements from writers whose books I admire; and it's a high seller. So perhaps I'm the one who is wrong, when I think the characters are very cliched and two dimensional, and the dialogue unrealistic and aggravating...?

Obviously, I've no room to talk, with my current difficulties. But actually, this average book gave me a confidence boost.

For a start, I could identify - quite clearly - many of the things that broke my trust as a reader. If I can identify them in someone else's work, I'm getting closer to knowing what is wrong with my work, and when I see that, I'm closer to fixing it.

Then I saw that there is hope for me. Hope that with polishing, I can be better than that. Hope that I might find a readership - people who appreciate my writing, even if I'll never be a Keyes or Moriarty (both of whom I think are excellent writers).

What gives you encouragement when you're frustrated? And have you found any 'poor' books recently? If not, I'd heartily recommend it to make you feel better!

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