Once More With Feeling Writing Prompts: Day 8

Yes, this is coming late. I’ve been running around all day with my family and haven’t had time to post.  I’m here now though!  See!  See!  I’m posting!  Okay, so what do we have here for our post on this fine Easter Sunday??? Well crap…

Can you think of a time when something that was poorly written caused confusion or trouble for you? Write about the experience. If you can’t think of anything, make something up!

Um…I have and hour and a half to write on this one? I may be in trouble!  Not that I don’t know how to write, nor that I really have to dive deep into my imagination to dredge up a moment when this could have applied to me, since anyone that’s been paying any attention would know what book/s this dredges up for me to rant.  The problem is, can I stop my rant in time to post it?

Let’s see if I can do it, shall we?

Once upon a time, there was a me, and I’d heard that someone I knew had written a book.  Initially I will admit to feeling bad that I hadn’t yet published anything and they were already putting out a book.  All my own personal insecurities had come to the forefront and made me think that something was wrong with me.  If I wanted to call myself a writer, I should have a book out by now.  If I can’t get a book finished I’ll never be able to call myself a writer.  Only people that are published can call themselves a real writer, and since I can’t manage to get a story finished, much less published, I can’t call myself a writer.  It took until I came across Mur Lafferty an awesome author who has written some great books that really rock and her awesomely awesome podcast I Should Be Writing that I came to realize that you don’t have to be published to call yourself a writer.  All you need to do to call yourself a writer, is write.  Anyway, I avoided writing for a while because I’d decided I should just give up.  Well, I did until I couldn’t anymore.  The desire to tell stories does eventually become too strong, and even though I still can’t finish a thing, the stories won’t leave me alone.

But I digress.  I came across a preview of the story, and decided that I should give it a try.  Reviews of it had been favorable, and I am a lover of a good story.  What I ended up reading was less readable than 50 Shades of Grey, Twilight’s trashy older sister.  It was quickly apparent that a thesaurus was applied to mundane words in order to make the writing seem more sophisticated, but in the end failed.  The words usually didn’t work in the context of the scenes they were in.  Not to toot my own horn, but I like to say that I have pretty decent reading comprehension.  In fact, even though I don’t display it so flagrantly as the author did, my vocabulary is pretty sizable.  I knew what the author was writing as far as the basic definition of words like “asphyxiation.”  What I couldn’t understand was why she would use some of them where she did.  Also, the way some paragraphs were structured didn’t follow basic grammatical rules.  Like it would describe the desert as a hot and God-forsaken place but one sentence in the middle would talk about the mountains off in the distance and how lush and beautiful they were, only to go back to the hell-like atmosphere of the desert in the next sentence.  There were also times during dialog where the action got confusing because the author didn’t separate the actions of other characters from the person speaking.  Also, at least once the description of a character happened before they entered the scene.

Now the overall premise of the story was decent.  However, the main character’s backstory was beyond unbelievable.  She eventually started to come off as a Mary-Sue character.  All the men were in love with her, she was super smart, and so nice!  The last two were never proven by deeds though.  The character was so unlikable just with the prologue that I started wishing I could be in the head of anyone else, and even though her friend had claimed to develop a time travel device that she set to go into the old west and the main character had been sucked into a vortex after she caused the accidental activation of the device, it still took her a while to figure out that she had been sucked back in time to the old west.  Also before finally admitting that she had traveled back in time, the main character called the townsfolk “the reenactment group from hell.” Such a likable person!

I tried to stick it out.  I was hoping that eventually the work would get better, even though in my experience I knew it was unlikely.  Usually if a book starts out so ungodly awful, the chances that it would get better, even marginally was very unlikely.  In the end I read myself into a migraine.  It wasn’t until I reflected on the events, and yes, started trying to read it again, that I realized my splitting headache was caused by my own mind trying to figure out what the author was trying to say, versus what was written.  It required so much mental acrobatics that my brain started to ache, and then when I continued to soldier through it, turned into a full blown migraine.

Okay, I’m going to stop myself here because I really could go on for hours on this, but I’ll just let my posts in the future give more of the story than this one post could cover.  Take care everyone, and I’ll see you on the flip-side!


About Cici Brown
I'm a happily married mother of two and a half. I'm usually pretty bubbly and in some cases, according to my husband, too open about everything. I am and always will be a gamer geek, though I haven't table-top roleplayed for many years. I still manage to hit an MMO or two. My interests include most things geek and Vampire fiction, though not the sparkly kind, that's not vampire fiction. I have goals towards publishing that have yet to be fulfilled but one day...

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