Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Back of a Book

Wrote 1795 words today. I'm at 110 pages. Yay-ish. Still behind my overall quota (to finish by the end of June). Even if I do finish according to my outline, it looks like I may have to fill in a lot of description or backstory, or add another subplot. The novel is not quite hefty enough for where I am in the in the story.

I've also realized that my subplot reveals things about the main plot that I didn't really want the reader to know yet. B/f says Hitchcock (the director, not the orange cat previously featured here), always kept the audience a step ahead of his characters, but I don't know if that applies to my story. All I can do is keep writing and edit or restructure it later.

Why I Don't Read the Backs of Books

1) Much like a movie trailer, the back of a book is a synopses or a teaser that:

a) will likely misrepresent the book to sell it to a greater number of people
b) will likely spoil some element or surprise that I will wish I hadn't known about
c) is not necessarily written by the author
d) if written by the author, is probably written begrudgingly
e) asks you to judge a book by reading a hundred words or so


If you're going to read fifty or a hundred words or so, why not just READ THE BOOK? Open it up - it's not illegal. Start at the beginning - or maybe a few pages in - and read. If the story hooks you or the style intrigues you or the font they chose pleases your eyes, great, buy it or borrow it or whatever and read it. If it doesn't, put it back on the shelf and leave it for another day.

I don't know why people find that so difficult to understand.

After I'd read "The God of Small Things", "The English Patient", and "Fall on Your Knees" I opened up "A Fine Balance" by Rohinton Mistry. Within a paragraph, I knew that I could not read another dramatic saga that would make me weep. So I put it down. One day I will read "A Fine Balance". One day when I need a good cry.

Besides, if you check the backs of books that you've read, you'll see that none of them accurately describe the experience you had reading the book.

Now don't get me started on author's photos...

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