Monday, September 10, 2007

Bad Book.

Sometimes a book is so bad you have to rant about it. Sometimes it is so terribly bad that you have to rant twice.


Dear My Editor,

How come *points to print book by Publisher Name* this writer *points to name on cover* can do all of those things you told me to correct? How come he gets to have all sorts of POV slips and many of them make absolutely no sense. How come he gets to have pretty hefty logic gaps? How come he's allowed to tell and not show when showing would have been especially simple and much more enjoyable? *twitch*How come he gets to use weak be verbs in EVERY FREAKING sentence for three goddamn pages? *twitch* How come I cringe when I think about how much I WOULD HAVE enjoyed this book BEFORE I started learning about writing? *twitch*

How come I'm not allowed to suck as much as he, the PRINT author, does? It's not FAIR!

With love,


To be honest, the story sounds really cute and I do hope I'll be able to get past page twelve before I go mad with twitching to "fix" the story. Come on, some of these things feel like he went out of his way to do it wrong. Maybe it's crappy editing instead of poor writing? Maybe it's both?

Dear Print Author Sir,

Far be it for me to question your skills, but when you are working on your next title, please, try to consider that using weak "be verbs" instead of "action verbs" actually weakens your writing. Also, when something happens beyond the line of sight of a character and you go out of your way to make sure the reader understands that Character A cannot see Character B doing what Character B is doing, you are not allowed in three pages to mention how Character A saw it all.

Also, if I read one more adverb when an adjective or a verb would have worked much better, I'm finding you and shoving this book up your tush. I think this one needs more digesting time.

And please, I beg of you, please, could you try to include more showing and less telling?

With all of that said...

I'm currently on page 10 of your novel. I do appreciate the humor and the plot, according to the back cover, does seem rather cute. I do hope that you do not cause me medical problems while I try to get through your novel. I've spent three days (including bitching time) getting to page 10. At this rate I should be done with your book in a little over 55 years and I'll be kind enough to write you a reader review.

With love and nothing sharp hidden behind her back,



Dear Print Author of the book that will take me 55 years to finish,

I'm going to choke the shit out of you if I ever meet you. What were you or/and your editor thinking? Do you know what POV means? Do you have any idea what it means when someone says "passive writing"? Are you aware that there are active verbs in the English language? Additionally, not every side-character deserves POV especially when it is painfully obvious you wrote it to fluff word count. Damn shame those were some of your best sections too.

How could you take such a charming story, give me great character designs and write the story in such a way that it's a lesson in how NOT to write.

In a way, I should thank you. The cock-up you managed to put before me gives me hope that...wait...before I finish that let me check the publisher. Oh, this is pure bullshit. I know some authors who have subbed really good work to that publisher and were rejected. So much for finding hope in that you got print-published.

I'm terrified of what might be lurking in your other linguistic torture devices (aka books).

Dear Editor who edited the aforementioned author,

I hope what I'm reading is a sign of author arrogance and not an example of what you think is good editing. This is the kind of editing that makes other editors cry. If this is the result of working with a PITA author, then grow some balls and make the PITA author do it right. If you cave to PITA authors and author arrogance THIS MUCH then you have no business being an editor.

I hope I never work with an editor who will allow me to shame myself, my editor or my publishing house to this level.

Dear Publisher who published the aforementioned story,

Stop smoking crack. It's one thing to see potential in a story and accept a MS based upon that, but you really should do something--anything--as a quality check to make sure the potential wasn't killed in a horrific linguistic accident that exploded crap all over dead trees.

Additionally, you may want to check your organization to see who is trading sexual favors for MS acceptances. At the very least, you could share the name of the person who needs the blowjob that badly so that they may be barred from touching the slush pile. Perhaps an office pool for an "escort" is in order? Get this person laid before they destroy your publishing house.

All three of you owe me the money for one whole bottle of blood pressure meds.


I'm moving this book to the bathroom so that the pages might have some kind of use.


Jon M said...

So frustrating when you find a book like that but I suppose the answer is, 'who said this literary world was fair?' the swines!!!!!

IM Cupnjava said...

I've often said that I don't think it is the best writers that get published, just the ones who finish their novels.

Bernita said...

Funny how that editorial twitch kicks in with some books!

IM Cupnjava said...

Bernita, I swear I'm three twitches away from writing the author. I WON'T do it because that would be terribly unprofessional. As if this rant isn't...but still...

The story could be rather good, but the execution is...well...executing the book.