Last summer I bought three books by the same author. They weren’t my usual romance sub-genre but the back blurbs sold them really well. However I never finish the first chapter of the first book. There was nothing wrong with writing and I can still remember the detail and the scenes fairly well. But the main character drove me up the wall. I hate 1st person prose! Seriously, it drives me nuts. And if the characters too whiny, or too over the top then you’ve got no chance at getting me passed the first chapter. They were all 1st person prose so I gave them away.
Its one of the reasons I don’t read real life stories, those books found on the shelves marked ‘painful lives’. Although my reading world is full of hearts and flowers. Where prince charming gallops up on his valiant steed, he sweeps the heroine of her feet and together they ride off into the horizon towards the far away land of happy ever after. So I admit I couldn’t face anything THAT real.
I also have an aversion to biographies. Maybe I’d have more interest in them if the market wasn’t littered with the current trend where every celebrity young or old thinks its necessary to tell their life story. The teenage singing sensation? But you’re 16? How can you have filled an entire book? Those famous for being famous you’re everywhere what can you tell me that I possibly don’t already know? Yes, I do stop. Breath. Then remember that what is presented to us in the media is not everything. But these books are sold like chapters and it really hacks me off! Yes its your life and I’m sure you think its fascinating but please don’t be offended when I don’t waste my money!
If you’ve read my previous posts, I’ve been talking about growing up as a writer. To grow as a writer you have to spread your reading wings and do things you may not like. The strangest of things is… I discover an author who wrote a character in 1st prose that I really really loved. Suddenly I can read 1st person and its rare does it drive me nuts.
One of my own character’s back story took a me into a rescue a mission found in one of the real life stories. Now I have not one but at least a dozen stories to tell. They’re not all dark and twisted. But I did have to research and face those ‘painful lives’. (Gawd, I hate this phrase! Whatever category it falls under its still abuse!)
I was recently recommended a biography…. Stephen King’s On Writing. I think its the only one I’d have ever touched…well, is it really a bio when he’s giving a master class in writing? It’s a delight to read, laugh out loud funny, with lots of tips for the aspiring- ha! for ANY author. I know I’ll read it more than once.
So yes, I’ve fledged from the safety of my contemporary romance nest, and I am enjoying the new experiences this flight has brought. Romance is who I am and who I will continue to be … although I’ll never say never again.