Thursday, January 29, 2009

When Bad Books Happen to Good People

Someone gave me a book by an author I've never read before and said, "This book was awful. Do you want it?"
Of course I took it. I wanted to disect it so I'd see what makes a bad book.
Was it just a matter of taste? Or something else.
Structure? Plot? Dialog?
So I'm reading this book and find it breaks all those rules I've ever been taught by critique groups and friends who are published.
Info dump.
Run on, stilted, useless dialog that does nothing for the story.
Too much tell instead of show.
And I hate the heroine because she says the stupidest things. Its like shes playing two different parts in the same movie. Hot/Cold, Hot/Cold.
Sometimes I'm not even sure where I am. She walks into a hospital room and "Joe" is asleep. She just starts talking and he answers her like he's been awake the whole time. I look back...yep, he was asleep. Wow, he woke up quick.
But the biggest problem I think is that everything in the book is like a bad soap opera (and forgive me, I actually I love ABC's soaps!). In this book, he is linked to she and oh, a coincidence! she slept with this other guy and now she's sleeping with him too.
Its supposed to be a thriller and the police come across as idiots and put all their faith in a probation officer to do their job. I have a friend who is a probation officer and she doesn't solve crimes. Its a real stretch. This character seems to do everything but her job. Very unrealistic.
Whew! Sorry for the rant but I think this bruised my brain.
My question is; How do books like this get published? Is it just that this author has nine other books out so everything she writes will get published? Where are the editors? How does this get pasted the gate keepers?


Nixy Valentine said...

I think the feeling you just described: the "holy moses, how did that get published" experience, is what keeps a lot of writers hopeful.

And depressed at times, sure. But it just goes to show that persistence does actually pay off. It also illustrates that it takes a lot more than talent to get published, and sometimes not even that.

laughingwolf said...

likely the result of a one-night-stand grrrrrrrrrovele

laughingwolf said...

rats... ovele was the word verif grrr