Thursday, November 17, 2011

For Shame

Tricky title, and not going to be some post where I wax poetic about how many things I (and the rest of us) should feel shame for doing, thinking, or eating. This is a post of a different flavour, so enjoy if you want, or ignore it if you must.

Imagine yourself a writer, an author, not some scribbler that works for the local rag producing yellow journalism to scare the ignorant masses, but a full blown, this is how I earn my daily bread, and pay the rent, type of writer. A published writer of many large tomes. A writer of fiction, a writer who has created entire worlds, and populated them with some the best (and worst) characters in fiction today. Hundreds of characters all, for the most part, well drawn, not the cardboard type of characters that we see in many of today's moder literature, but characters that have some depth to them. Good on you right? Good for taking the wasteland of American/Modern literature, and giving it some life, some hope for the readers amongst us that are desperate to read something worth our time.

An author is what you are, it was what you always wanted to be, and you've made it! Made the grade and have whole bookshelves in local bookstores that are groaning under the weight of your published works. Does the heart proud, might even make the parents happy, though I am sure dear, old Dad wanted you to be something useful like a doctor, or a lawyer, but you've got the last larf on him haven't you? Shows him what's what doesn't it? How many lawyers do you know that can just laze around in front of a computer screen "thinking" all day? Most of the lawyers I know don't do a lot of thinking period, and certainly couldn't sustain thought for an entire day.

Of course, the rub is this, and it is the reason for the post. You've become a victim of your own success. You've written wonderful, wonderful books, and the reading public, those greedy bastards, have come to expect you to churn out a book on a regular basis. They, the bastards, have no idea how much work it takes, how hard it is, and how difficult new ideas are to come by, they just want to hand over their 10 quid, and read something fantastic, and it is incumbent upon you to give them what they want. After all, you're a writer aren't you? Write us something clever then.  Go on, write us something that we want to read, something that takes our minds off the shitty economy, the bad hair days, and our under-performing hedge fund, and miserable sods of a football team.

And that is your job isn't it? To write something that does all of the above, so your vast readership isn't tempted away from you by some other writer with fresh ideas. Knuckle down, and get to writing, and suddenly there it is! Your latest work, complete only about 200 pages which is a lot less that your major works, but hey you were in a bit of a rush weren't you? It will suffice, it will feed the need of your readers for a bit,while you work on your tan, err your next 'major' work.  They won't mind a short little tale to tide them over, after all if they had any brains, they would just write something decent themselves.

But, here's the rub, and it is a big rub your latest word is dross. It is awful, and as a member of the bastards known as the reading public, I feel it is my duty to tell you that it is one of the worst books I have ever had the displeasure to read. One of the top ten worst books I have even seen. It is just god awful, no story, no plot, disjointed, and just plain BAD.  It is an insult to the world of literature, and I hope you are ashamed of yourself. Though I doubt it, after all you got paid didn't you? What I can't fathom is how you got this piece of donkey shit past your editors, and your friends who (as you are quick to point out) read your work, and offer brilliant insight as to how to make it better. Trust me on this, there is no number of brilliant insight from anyone that could have made your latest book readable. Though on the bright side they couldn't have made it much worse. All I can say is, For Shame!

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