Disappointment

Mini Rant

Yesterday afternoon I actually, truly, in person, threw a paperback across the room at the wall.

I hate being a cliché, but there was nothing else to be done.

I was lying on the sofa at the time and it was not worth my time standing up and gently lowering the collection of pressed cellulose fibre sheets with ink scratchings, into the bag of other unloved items intended for the charity shop.
Fortunately I was alone when the book went flying.

Reason for ranting?

I bought this contemporary romance for cash money.
I spent time trying to read it late at night. And then I gave it a second chance.
It was published in 2007. It was written by a writer I had heard of, and it was from a line and publisher I may submit to one of these days.

And it was Dreck.

It was so Dreckky that I actually had to flip through the pages to make sure that I had not missed any good bits.
Nope. It was completely Dreck. From first to last page.

That is to say, it was Dreck as I define Dreck by MY standards and expectations.
And there lies the rub of course.

The author who spent months of her life writing the words, the editor who bought it, the publisher and cover artist and marketing etc etc did not think it was Dreck.
And they certainly could not have expected their readers to think it was Dreck.
So.
Is it just me? As a reader?

As a writer – I know that what I should do now, of course, is to analyse PRECISELY why it was Dreck.
What was so wrong with it that I had to force myself to scan read the last third?
Maybe I should try to rewrite, say, the first scene, as a writing exercise, so that I can use the precious time I spent trying to read the [thing which was not worthy of being called fiction] as a learning opportunity?

But I already know the answer.

Because it hit me like a large rock to the head when I read Chapter One.
The Premise, the ‘Story Idea’ which started off the story, and brought the hero to the heroine’s door, was not believable. Or even plausible. I did not, could not, believe the reason why the couple got together.
Not for one second.
Now, I know that sometimes you can get away with contrived situations if the characters are interesting. Nope. Both of them were TSTlive.

And that pulled me out of the story, away from any sympathy or empathy with the characters, and, frankly, I was bored. And there are plenty of others in my TBR pile.
If I ever have any doubt about how important that intial set-up is, I know better now.

Of course there were other things which were wrong. He spent a lot of time cooking for her – and the cooking times and ingredients, etc. were so wrong it was silly.
Only it was not meant to be silly.
And yet again, these ridiculous details pulled me out of the ‘story’.
I should not be thinking.. you BOILED IT? FOR HOW LONG?

Another reader may love that storyline, and the characters. I hope they do. Because my copy is now headed to the charity shop.

Has this ever happened to you?

What’s playing on my YouTube right now? Mr Richard Armitage – North and South, with the fantastic lyrics of ‘In the Deep’ , which is intended to restore my faith.

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