Lately on these pages, my fellow Roses have discussed the writing process from their perspective. The struggles to get a book just right before it’s presented to the public. Several things to be sure of include:
1. The main characters are properly fleshed out and believable
2. Keep point of view true and constant throughout
3. Close all story arcs
4. Tie up all loose ends
5. Provide a clear and satisfying ending
6. Once finished, make sure every word is right and punctuation is absolutely perfect
The only way to guarantee a product readers will flock to and buy. Right?
Well, I just finished a block buster, made into a movie, best seller by an amazingly prolific author. In paperback format, by the way. My thinking was to get some insight in to how it’s done correctly as I embarked on my latest effort. The book I read was written in the nineties, and still today ranks right up there in block buster bestsellerdom.
So, it stands to reason each and every item of the above checklist would have been strictly adhered to. Right?
To my surprise, not necessarily.
Here’s my humble opinion on how this book fared when compared to the above checklist test.
1. Main characters’ believability. This was done to a point, but more through the actual telling of their preferences rather than showing them react. Plus they were always in adrenaline mode. Never really acting human. And, half way through an otherwise smart heroine became TSTL, and almost didn’t.
2. Consistency in POV. Not hardly. Some first person, some third. Lots of omnipresent head hopping. Hard to follow at times.
3. Completed story arcs. While passably done, quite a few character actions were left hanging. Put there, IMHO, more for shock value than story substance.
4. Tie up loose ends. Again. A lot of shock value chapter endings with storylines that were never heard from again.
5. True and satisfying ending. While the ending was a real, well, ending that rang true; it wasn’t in the least bit satisfying. Again, IMHO. It was as if the whole build up of so many previous chapters was crammed into the last few pages as almost a series of after thoughts.
6. Perfect on the page. While, of course well done in this aspect. There were errors. A few periods and commas that were missed. Some passages that could have used another content edit. Certainly not perfect.
What does this tell us? In my opinion, again, it tells us that the books we write don’t have to be flawless, they just have to be…good.
How about you? Any books you’ve read recently that, while memorable in their own right, weren’t exactly perfect in each and every aspect?
As you ponder this deep and deliberate question, here's my latest effort, Book 1, in the Brothers In Blue series On The Surface
Maybe not flawless but, the best I could do in making it memorable.
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