Monday, April 17, 2006

Story Telling

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

I finished reading a book yesterday -- and it shall remain nameless. This is because, when I love a book I'll post it, when I don't, it disappears into the reading log never to be heard from again.

This writer's style is awful. Awful. It's juvenile and rushed and she constantly tells instead of showing. Ugh. I could go on and on (if her hero had "puffed out his chest" one more time, the book would have become a wall banger... it was a very close thing).

And yet, not only is she a bestselling author whose books are released in hardback, but I've read more than one of her books. Yes, I've put myself through the torture a total of five times so far.


Because her stories are interesting. She has and absolutely amazing, incredible, unbelievable imagination.

Still, I often wonder why she was selected to be published. I have a couple of writing friends whose work is astoundingly good, and several more whose work is well above par and yet -- rejection after rejection.

Very weird.

So... is it the story or the telling that matters the most? I know, I know -- you are all thinking "it's both!", but I'm beginning to wonder because so many of the books I read have only one of those components.

Just another one of the frustrating things I can't seem to figure out about the publishing industry. I'm certain that the list will continue to grow.


Ceri said...

Well, now I'm dying to know who the author is.... just whisper her name in my ear.

I know the feeling. I've read lots of books like that and I wonder just how in the world they made it into print.

Like the answer to the Tootsie Pop Question said... "the world will never know..."

Judy said...

This may sound cynical, but sometimes I really think for some of these authors it's a matter of being in the right place at the right time. I have a pile of books that I've struggled through... I have this terrible affliction that makes me HAVE to finish a book, even if I'm hating it. It may take me six months (and I'm a fast reader!) but I WILL persevere and finally finish it... a lot of times those books are relegated to my "throne" reading. Guess it's pretty appropriate at that!

Ceri said...