Thursday Reading FUNdamentals: Hey Jealousy
It’s St. Patrick’s Day, or St. Me Day as I like to call it. Usually on holidays I post a clip from a story, the last one being an explicit sex scene on Valentine’s Day. I could probably find something from a story where people get drunk, but since it’s Thursday I’ll do a real entry. Maybe I can find a good drunken brawl for Sunday Smackdown.
Anyway, a week ago I finished this book. In the review I talk about how I sat down to write the review and was going to say it was pretty good and give it 4 stars. But as chance would have it, nature called, and while taking a dump I got to thinking that the end of the book was a real letdown. The biggest letdown was that for all the digging and probing our hero does to try and unravel this conspiracy threatening to destroy the city, none of it mattered because in the end the villain called the hero and told her exactly where he was.
So that got me thinking: what was the point of all that other stuff? All that looking for clues and the bad guy just CALLS you and tells you where to go? What the fuck is that? He could have done that 300 pages ago and saved us all a lot of trouble!
Also for about 2/3 of the book the hero was getting into a relationship with a police detective. Then this is cast aside and she ends up with another guy instead. So what was the point of the other guy?
The more I thought about it, the more I thought how badly plotted the story was, because in the end most of it was just filler. This could easily have been a short story.
But this isn’t an entry about good plotting or even an entry about taking some time to think before writing reviews, though those are both good topics. No, as the title suggests, this is about jealousy. Because as I was lying bed that night, I thought, “Jeez, my story is better than this! And yet no one’s going to ever publish it. No one’s going to read it. It’s not going to be in the Vine program for people to score free copies. Goddamnit, that’s not fair!”
Of course I know the world isn’t fair. That doesn’t make it any easier when I read a book I know isn’t very good, especially when that book has sold a lot of copies. Like when I read a couple of Nicholas Sparks books and later a Dean Koontz book that was laughably bad. Despite how awful these books are, they’re published and I’m not. They’re real “authors” and I’m just a hobbyist. Is that fair? You’re goddamned right it’s not fair. But that’s the world for you. It’s probably the same feeling any wanna-be filmmaker has when he/she sees how much money the latest Adam Sandler piece of shit has made. What kind of world is this where dreck makes millions and quality can’t even get out of the starting gate? Well, that’s the real world. Obviously.
My jealousy is so bad that if you said you landed a book deal or an agent my first instinct would be to punch you in the face. My second instinct would be to ask you to hook me up with said agent/publisher. My third instinct would be to call you from my jail cell to apologize, congratulate you, and then subtly ask you again for a hookup. I should probably get some therapy or Prozac–or both.
Of course I know I shouldn’t be jealous. Everyone, even Nicholas Sparks or Dean Koontz or even Snooki is part of the fraternity of literature. So I should be glad for them. So should we all. It takes a lot of hard work (and luck, mostly luck) to have a really successful book. Good for anyone who does that. But that doesn’t make me feel better. I doubt it makes anyone else feel better either.
The other part of the jealousy thing is that I really hate when I hate a book and see all these reviews of other people loving it. I think, “What the hell are you thinking?” And I really get jealous when I see on Amazon these people have 50 Helpful votes and I have 1. How is that someone who got fooled so badly, who has no freaking taste is getting all these Helpful votes–is being listened to–while my far more accurate and well-written review is being ignored?
It’s frustrating. More so because all I can do is whine in a blog about it. I know I shouldn’t think my word is the law the be-all, end-all on the subject, but it’s so HARD! I’m very self-centered. And neurotic. Which is obviously why I’m writing.
Still, I’d love to issue a public challenge and say, “Anyone who thinks After the Golden Age is good, read my book and if you don’t think it’s better I’ll give you your money back!” (Or I’ll come to your house and club you senseless with a baseball bat.) I’d love to do that because I don’t just think it’s better–I KNOW. Because when I plot a story the things that happen actually have a freaking point! They aren’t just there to add to the word count!
Also I’d say that my redheaded hero could kick her redheaded hero’s ass. Which is absolutely true because my redheaded hero knows kung-fu and hers is only good at getting kidnapped. Though my redheaded hero would never kick her redheaded hero’s ass because she’s way too classy for that. Unlike her creator–obviously.
Now wasn’t that as good as any drunken scene I could dig up from a story? And I did it sober, which is the scariest thing of all. If you don’t mind, I think I’ll go down a few pitchers of green beer.
Tomorrow, a great drunken scene as a 17-year-old terrorizes a bar. I’m sure it’s way better than Snooki’s book. (Don’t they say the first step to curing a problem is admitting you have a problem? Too bad it’s not the last step. Damn it.)