I’m such a book snob!

January 26, 2008 at 5:14 pm (Reading) (, )

I really am.  I’m reading a novel at the moment by Guillame Musso.  It’s okay, the concept is quite intriguing, but the writing is so prescriptive that I’m packing it in on the second chapter*.  As important character, plot, and concept are, it’s the writing that makes or breaks a book for me.   If the writer isn’t in love with language, then I’m not interested.

* I’ve recently made the decision not to struggle through books that I’m not enjoying.  There’s too many great books and too little time for that.


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Nothing even as tangible as a block

January 20, 2008 at 3:44 pm (Writing) (, , )

I have a problem.  The problem is this – nothing happens in my novel.  There is no plot.  There are no events.  The biggest event happens before the narrative starts.  It’s basically a long rumination on my main character’s feelings about an event that happened to someone else before the novel starts.  Three chapters, eleven thousand words in, my ‘protagonist’ has collected his wife from the hospital and made some coffee.

I need to get plotting!

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What I don’t particularly love

January 9, 2008 at 7:44 pm (Reading) ()

I’ve just finished What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt.  Hmm.   I thought that I was going to adore it, but by mid-way through the novel I just wasn’t feeling it.  I think that the problem was that Hustvedt kept making her characters explain every darn thing.  It was a study in the human condition, but it was so studied that it refused to let the reader invest.  I could never identify with any of the characters, because they explained their thoughts and motivations in such detail before I could formulate my own thoughts about them and what was going on.  The prose was undeniably beautiful but I mainly felt that Hustvedt wanted to show her reader how clever and well-read she was.  It was boring.

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January 1, 2008 at 5:23 pm (Doing, Reading, Writing) ()

Well, as usual, I’ve got a list of resolutions a mile long, but you guys aren’t interested in food I’m giving up or anything like that, so I’ll break it down to the reading and writing ones for you.

1. produce a full draft of the novel I’m currently working on

2. only buy from indie bookshops (exchanging a gift from Waterstones doesn’t count, right?)

3. read more work by writers I’ve not previously read

4. keep this blog up to date with lots of reading and writing gems

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