Day 13: I know what I don't like...
When I first saw what todays tag was, I thought "oooh, favourite book", but hmm...didn't I just do that a few Tags ago?? Now,why would I be boring enough to write about another favourite book? Well, I could quite easily, because I have so many books that I could have picked, but instead, I've decided to have a little rant about fiction today.
But, first, I'll just give advance warning that this is a Rant Blog, and if you're a fan of Jodi Picoult or Stephenie Meyer (ugh!) you might not want to read this! And yes, yes I am a self-confessed Book Snob!!
I've been a huge book lover since I was old enough to read, but one thing that I've grown to detest, is how damned picky I've become over books. When I was a kid and pretty much through the first half of my teens I could read practically everything about anything, and I basically did just that. Hit A Levels and Uni, and things have really turned around. I think the problem is that I know what I like, and I know what I don't like. And, I do not like flowery, cliche writing.
The problem with a lot of more "popular" writing today, is that it just comes across as first draft-type material. The first draft is (obviously) what a writer should write without reading it back, ensuring that they finish it, not worrying too much about spelling, language, grammar, punctuation etc. Then they'd re-read it, realise how poor the writing is, so they go back through it and edit it meticulously, avoiding cliche and spelling errors.
So, in my mind:
First Draft: All about the story
Second Draft: Checking spelling, grammar and punctuation
Subsequent Drafts: Editing and omitting irrelevant chapters and dialogue
The last one, is the one that I think a lot of fiction writers (and their Editors) forget (or can't be bothered) to do a lot of the time. They seem too obsessed at releasing this instant bestseller that ticks every box (step forward authors that churn out novel after novel of over-emotive, highly controversial topics, that are easy money), that they don't appear to take the time to realise that a lot of what is written just does nothing to the actual story. It doesn't move it forward, and a lot of the time gives us, the readers, information that we just do not need, or want, to know.
Why does Jodi Picoult get on my goat?
Basically, for the same reason authors like John Grisham do. They write about ten books in a year (seriously, ten books??), all focusing on a topic that is guaranteed to hit a point with someone whether it's controversial or will just hit a woman's emotional side,which is fine, as long as the novel challenges something in a different way.
To me, writing like this is too easy, and it patronises us as the reader. We are better than this, and I'm sorry, but for me, Jodi Picoult's books read like Made-For-TV middle of the afternoon Channel Five films. Things that occur are so unbelievably unrealistic and drippy.
With Picoult, I feel nothing for the cliched characters,and I really couldn't care less about the apparently difficult choices they need to make.
Plus the topic choices that appear to just be far too easy, really bug me!
And, why does Stephenie Meyer annoy me?
Stephenie Meyer is an odd one. She has some really good ideas on a whole, but actually pieced together, she seems to lose something. She seems very good at building up tension, which admittedly a lot of writers actually can not do, but then when you think you're about the reach the big climax, it's all over and done with, because it all happened whilst Bella was stuck inside a tent. She leaves you feeling like you've spent all day climbing up a mountain, but just as you get to the top, where you're expecting to see a beautiful aerial view of the world below, Meyer pushes you off the side of the mountain, and you feel like you just wasted an entire day (and several hundred pages) for an absolute anti-climax!
Okay, so my ranting is over for the day! Oh, it is good to get it over with so early in the day!
Tag Challenge: Day 13: Fictional Books
Day 13: I know what I don't like...
This entry was posted on Wednesday, 18 August 2010 and is filed under Arts,Editing,Film,Jodi Picoult,John Grisham,Shopping,Stephenie Meyer,Writer,Writers Resources. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.