Last time, I wrote about how I’d found an author while I was driving down the road.
After a short search which turned up not much about her, I downloaded her Kindle sample. Was she going to be worth the $2.99 she wanted me to shell out for her book.
I couldn’t wait to look at it. I was really hopeful, regardless of what I’d already seen. I skimmed the first couple of pages. Not bad, not great either. I determined her to be a diamond in the rough and would continue reading it a bit later now that I had my immediate answer.
Seriously, I do put a number of books down after the first paragraph.
I was getting ready to be a happy reader. After I got home, I started reading it again, still ever hopeful.
That hope crashed and burned!
In came the cliche scenes, followed by the purely unbelievable. She’d made it through my initial flash analysis only to be killed by a situation she had obviously never, ever been in and could not even find a similar emotion to hook to it. I was willing to give her the cliche scenes even because I had already determined her a diamond in the rough. But when the character started thinking about things that I had no setup for and could not believe she would be thinking in this situation, I stopped. The book figuratively hit the wall.
I have read about 5 pages of her book. What do I know about this author now? I know that she wants to tell stories and probably has been doing so for a while. She’s probably had a couple good critiques, but she still feels every word she puts on paper is golden. She’s read a lot of books on writing. She knows she should be in business as a writer, but hasn’t let the rubber hit the road yet. She reads no books on business and has never taken even a free class in social media — nope, she’s too busy writing. She has not really studied how to edit beyond what she has read and believes what she is doing is correct. But re-reading for clarity is not editing. She has not learned how to create empathy for her characters or how to set up a fantasy world. She just expects the reader to be right there with her. She does not know the hero’s journey and/or how to use it properly.
Most readers will never realize this. They will just feel disappointment and will continued to believe that self-published work is a bunch of crap. Sadly, most of what’s coming out of the publishing houses and held up as good stories is also not worth the paper they are printed on.
Good writing makes happy readers.
If you believe this, come over to betterwriterblog.net where you will learn how to craft a better story. It’s just getting started over there (yes, I bought the domain name, but at least I’ve put up SOMETHING!) It’s a work in process, but I will even be putting up one of my own stories to use for illustration purposes. Use the hashtag #writingrevolution to let others know you’re serious about taking charge of your own writing. Bring others with you. I don’t want this story that I’ve shared in the last couple of blogs to happen to anyone else.