Saturday, August 25, 2007

In Memory of... A Poorly Written Book

By Keith Fisher

We buried our family pet this week. It’s never a happy occasion, but we’ve had Cocoa for 17 years. She was my Valentine’s gift to my wife and the only pet my daughter has known. She was a good cat.

Cocoa was showing signs of her age and it was a blessing to see her pass, but it’s never easy. We buried her under the big pine tree in the back yard.

Also, this week, I’ve been working on a blog. It’s a fantastic idea that will touch and delight you. It will bring you to tears and leave you with a sense that all’s write with the world. (Get it? all’s WRITE).

Okay, I admit I’ve got nothing. I really did have a blog but I discovered I’ve already written it. The experts say one of the signs of old age is repeating your self. Your self.

I started reading another book by one of my favorite prolific authors and discovered a pile of obvious mistakes. I was mystified. "How could that author do that?" I asked. It’s almost like the publisher printed the first draft.

Just to give you an idea: in almost every chapter there are info dumps and exposition that should be dialog. The author lost track of details. In one place, the police are coming over to have a very important conversation but they don’t come, the conversation never happens.

Recently I had a very good friend look at a manuscript and make suggestions. It came back full of red ink so to speak. I look at it and wonder how I could’ve ever considered sending that to a publisher, it wasn’t ready. If I were a best selling author with name recognition, the publisher may have printed it and I would’ve had to live with it.

I’m going to continue reading the book but I have to put it down frequently in order to recover.

I guess I went ahead and wrote this blog even though I didn’t think I would. See what happens when you get me talking (writing)? I tend to run off at the mouth.

Anyway, have a good week and get out the polishing compound. Start rubbing on that manuscript of yours. You never know; a publisher may lose his/her mind and set it in print. Then you’ll have to live with it forever or until you buy every copy back.

4 comments:

Josi said...

Isn't it amazing how the more you learn about writing, the more you notice in other people's works? So sorry about Cocoa...and the lousy book...and the lousy book :-)

C. L. Beck said...

Keith,
So sorry about Cocoa. It's hard to let a pet go.

And as for you noticing the errors in the books you read, it only shows how much you're progressing as a writer!

Good blog.

Keith Fisher said...

Thanks for the comments and good wishes ladies. I am amazed Josi, in fact it makes me feel that if they can do it, so can I.
I am so grateful for friends who help me remove the egg from face before anyone else sees it.

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Sorry about Cocoa, Keith. It's hard to lose a family pet.

As to polishing manuscripts. Great advice.