Yesterday, I tweeted that I was giving up writing in order to become a professional tap dancer. Even with my lack of tap dancing skills— hell, even with my lack of dancing skills— I figured the odds for success were about the same.
Keep in mind that I'm not talking about publishing a best seller here. I'm just talking about finishing this damn WIP. As my excellent friend, Carl, pointed out (quoting Billy Crystal) "writers write" and everyone knows that I have been doing a scant amount of that lately. So tonight I am attempting to pull an all-nighter as I strive to achieve the possibly impossible: trying to get my WIP back on track.
I blame the secondary lead male character guy (and definitely not my inability to form intelligent sounding phrases). He's been such a damn jackwagon for so damn long that if elevator shafts existed in my finely crafted fantasy world, I'd seriously be writing a scene where he falls to his death down one. Or I would drop him into the Bog of Eternal Stench (Name That Reference!) or the Swamp of Sadness (Name That Reference Too!) or feed him to some shrieking eels or R.O.U.S.s (Name That Reference Three!).
Except that I really do kind of need him and I can't move forward with the rest of the story until I solve the problem that is this character. It's been very demoralizing. Hence the proposed career change. I don't actually know how to tap dance. Do you think that will pose many problems?
Let tell you something. When my muse comes back from her ill timed extended vacation, she had damn well better bring me back something more than a lousy tee shirt.
But enough ranting and raving.
No, wait. I'm not done.
I finished reading my first eBook tonight. Woo Hoo, right? And by the way (cue unrelated side rant), I've taken a significant amount of crap from people (not necessarily readers of this blog) for this whole eReader business. Why does my purchase of a Kindle seem to signify to so many people that I'm some kind of traitor to the paperback? That I'll never again pick up a traditional book? That I can't pick up a traditional book even? I'm broadening my reading horizons, people. That's all. I love to read and I refuse to limit myself in that regard. You want to know what I did after I bought my Kindle? Well, first I checked the dictionary it came with to see if it was cool enough to have listed the word 'jackwagon' (it wasn't) and then I went to Barnes & Noble and spent fifty dollars on traditional books. Then yesterday, I came home from a day of shopping with five more books. And don't tell The Man this but I just ordered four more from Amazon. On top of the two I ordered last week. And then—
Crap. I've been on quite the book buying spree lately. Yeah, let's definitely not tell The Man. Let's just let it be...a surprise.
(End unrelated side rant.)
So where was I? Oh, right. I finished reading an eBook (and I really do like reading on a Kindle. So there, haters). It was a self published book whose title I am not going to reveal here because of the ranting that's to follow. I honestly don't know how I read the whole thing. Anyone else would've quit. Anyone else would've thrown up their hands and screamed, "Life's too short!" Because life is too short. I'm sure somewhere in there was a maybe halfway decent story but I couldn't find it. And do you want to know why?
Bad grammar, to start. Just really, really bad. There were so many errors on every single page. And I do mean every single page. I honestly had to keep reminding myself that I couldn't write on the Kindle screen because I wanted to take a red pen to the damn thing. The author used 'Your' where 'you're' should've been used. It's instead of its. Other misspellings (the author spelled 'throne' as 'thrown'). Typos. Run ons. Fragments and not the stylistic kind I kind of like. The stupid kind that make. reading. very. jarring. and. annoying. and. difficult. There was also a complete overuse of exclamation points (seriously, if you were wondering about the exclamation point shortage in literature, it's because this author used them all. And I do mean all) followed by a complete lack of commas and clear dialogue tags. Hell, forget clear dialogue tags. I would've been happy with any dialogue tags. There were some passages I had to read three or four times before I could figure out who the hell was saying what.
And that's just for starters. I could go on for days (and have— just ask The Man and The Heather and everyone else with whom I've conversed in the last few days) about all the problems with this book but it's not going to change the underlying message: EDIT YOUR DAMN MANUSCRIPTS. No book available for public viewing/purchase should have that many fundamental problems with it. This is the kind of book that makes so many people think it's impossible to find a self published book of worth. It just pisses me off. You know, in case that wasn't already abundantly clear.
All right. Now I'm done ranting. At least for tonight. So, if you'll excuse me, I'm off for a pleasure cruise. At night. In eel infested waters. Just me and my secondary male lead. Wonder who will survive the night...place your bets below!