Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Writing for me or for you?

Hello Tuesday visitors!

Paying back isn't always so easy.

As an author, I love reading reviews of my writing- especially if they're good ones. If I get a kick in the teeth, it isn't a great feeling but I try to improve on those particular lacks in the future.

As an author and reader I'm finding it increasingly more difficult to write reviews for the work of others. I can't help noticing technical errors but what's now bothering me more is that since my reading time is precious I don't want to waste any time reading something that will leave me feeling depressed or flat. 

I want to be like that image where I'm finding something to smile about and enjoying the read- not because of any humour in the writing but because it's an engaging plot.  

I've just read and reviewed a novel that would be classed as Womens Contemporary Fiction. It's definitely the kind of novel that would take centre place on a shelf in the supermarket with a big sales sticker on it saying Buy 1 Get 1 FREE. (I've seen similar displayed as such), However, I got my copy from Amazon using the 'You've earned a free novel' voucher where they tell me I can choose from a wide selection of maybe a half dozen books for free  - because I've recently bought a lot of other books.

I didn't fancy any of the other options on offer so I chose the Womens Contemporary Fiction one and hoped for a quick and entertaining read.

The reading wasn't all that quick since I can never get in a long reading session before bed - I'm usually too tired for that - except when the novel really grips me and I don't want to put it down. That didn't happen with this said to be 'highly acclaimed' novel so it took about four sessions to complete it.
After I wrote my review and published it on Amazon, I had a read at some other comments from the upwards of 400 reviews written for the novel. The one which got top billing mentioned the fact that it was exactly the kind of book that readers loved to read, the sort of plot which dots back and forth relating the separate viewpoints of a set of characters who are tied by some mingling thread throughout. The reviewer liked the fact that they seemed like normal people with normal daily problems and fractured family situations. Many other reviews homed in on similar aspects of failed relationships.

All I can say is that I'm glad I don't have those problems since, due to the backgrounds the characters had,  they were seriously messed up people. Quite depressing to read their repetitive and ongoing issues.

During the last decade I've read loads of this style of novel but, personally, don't find most of them interesting reads- though I keep trying new work, hoping my interest will be sparked. The reason I don't get a buzz or a feel good factor from the reading is that the author often strives for a rendition that's meant to reflect what human nature is really about in all its warts and nitty-gritty. These novels explore themes that are tragic; or destructive; or self- harming; or pessimistic' or are about downright selfish people and are sometimes about repetitively boring people who make the same relationship 'mistaeks' over and over again adn wonder why nothing works out. Shallow people don't seem very contented in these stories- now there's a surprise! 

I don't need a happy ever after in every relationship story I read about but if there's hope of some kind at the end of the novel then that's a fine enough result for me. Stories where one of the characters (after a whole book ) becomes one of a 'now-really happy' pair but ends up in a surprise and deadly car crash, and therefore cannot have a happy ever after ending isn't in the least uplifting.  I don't read fiction to be depressed - I read it to learn about something new or to be transported to something less than ordinary.

The fact that I skimmed through a lot of pages to get to the end means it didn't grip me enough, though technically speaking the book was well written.

I've decided that I'm happy with my own choice of writing genre because I'd get too depressed trying to write something of the ilk I've just described. 

Right now, I've got some more novels to review that I've also read since December but haven't had time to review yet. I know what I like to read but I can see that it's not necessarily what others might enjoy! 

Whatever you're reading today- enjoy!


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