Saturday, July 25, 2009

July 25

Seriously- writing and craft has spoiled my reading pleasure...sigh. Example: The following sentence is the opening sentence to a thriller I've been assigned for class- circa 2005

"R. Charles Janus, M.D., magna cum laude graduate of Dartmouth Medical, fellow if the American Academy of Neurology--and long time closet homosexual--had spent the waning minutes of Memorial Day slowly cruising his pearlescent gray Jag past the dimly lit side streets and avenues of West Chelsea."

Do you see any problems with the construction of the sentence? yeah... 1) Way too long 2) No real hook --unless you find closet homosexual titillating (which I don't particularly). 3) Passive (Had spent) 4) This is the bad guy not the hero. 5) You have no idea what his goal, his motivation or his conflict is...

Yes this book is published and marked with a sticker declaring "Good read guaranteed" by the publisher.

My Sunday blog was about the randomness of publishing... I don't think I need to say anything more. Cheers!


  1. I agree. That's a very dull start to a book. Startlingly lackluster, in fact.

    My own spare time is so rare and precious that I only give most short stories a page to hook me, most novels merely a single chapter. No more than that.

    I wouldn't even have gone on to the second sentence of that one.

  2. "if the American of..." was that if really part of the text?

    Once on a bus, I read a book with a line SO bad I tried tossing it out of a window. The book hit the window sill and bounced back in my lap. I picked up that book an continued to read... in the end I loved "The Bourne Identity" - sometimes you have to forgive small faults in a great story.