Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Bad Authors

I love reading books by good authors. I am glad those authors are out there. I love that these authors are successful and will continue to churn out great books.

Before I started writing, my only view of bad authors was, "What a lousy book. A waste of time and money."

Now that I write, though, I hate bad authors. When I see a book by a bad author on the shelves, red fireworks burst in my brain and my mouth curls into a sneer. The terrible writing I have read by the author comes back to me and I growl and grouse.

I recall a book about a group of people who travel back into the past to explore history first-hand. They run into problems and are stranded in the past. The "characters" are soulless cardboard cutouts. At best, they can be summarized in one sentence. They spend 72 hours or so in the past without sleeping and without eating. and they don't seem to be hungry or falling asleep on their feet--much less on the verge of kidney damage because they have not drunk anything. This was a chronologically continuous account, in which nobody had to use the bathroom. (Don't get me wrong--I'm not that interested in reading/writing bathroom scenes. But if an author is going to follow characters extremely closely for a long time . . .)

I especially hate bad authors who sell lots of books, like the author I mention above. My ill will compounds when people make movies about bad books, like the one above. The reason that I harbor these ill feelings about bad authors, who are not being malicious, but are just incompetent, can be summarized in one word--"jealousy."

No comments: