Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A funny thing happened on my way home from the bookstore...

I just realized that my favorite author isn’t very good. I’ve been really disappointed in his last two novels. His stories are interesting, so I keep reading them, but the writing really sucks.

I’m a relative newcomer, a mere novice, in the writing profession, so other than my status as a frequent book buyer and avid reader, I realize I’m in no way qualified to make judgments regarding someone else’s writing. But all the things I struggle so hard to avoid in my own writing—using the same phrases over and over…and over and over; using too many dialogue tags (especially the character’s name) over and over…and over and over; putting my characters in the same situation over and over—okay, you get it, I know—he does, over and over…and over. And his attempts at suspense are kind of lame and very predictable—which is bad, since he writes thrillers.

I’ve decided that I need to go back and read the first book of his that really sucked me in. Then I can figure out if I was just a less discerning reader before I started writing or if his suckiness is more recent—maybe due to deadlines and being rushed. He’s a NYT best seller and puts out at least two books a year, so he clearly knows more about writing than I do…

But it’s really disappointing to realize that someone I looked up to (and recommended to a lot of other people) isn’t as great as I thought he was.

I know. You’re rolling your eyes and yelling at the screen that I need professional help. Hero worship and all that… And you’re probably right.

I’ll reread some of his earlier books and report back.

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