Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bad Writing, Bad Writing, Bad Writing....Arghh

I'm currently reading "At The Edge" by Cait London. It's romantic suspense with a bit of the paranormal thrown in. The book recieved a decent review somehere on-line (sorry, my brain isn't recalling exactly where), and the local library had it. So I decided to try it. I'm half way though now, and jeez, it's been quite a slog through story-killing prose.

Let me count the ways in which the writing annoyed me:

1. Bad dialogue. Claire, the heroine of this story, is one of triplets. She lives apart from her sisters, but she has many telephone conversations with them throughout the first part of the book. Most of the conversations consist of the sisters telling each other things they both already know ("As you know, Bob...") in stilted language. Real people do not talk to each other like this. Later, I'll post an example. Also, some of the characters must have been abused by contractions when they were young, such is their fear of using them in their speech.

2. Talking to oneself. The two main characters -- Claire and Neil -- and Claire's mother all talk out loud to themselves about how they are feeling. And not just short exclamations. These charcters ramble on for a long paragraph while staring out at the ocean or at a picture. I didn't find this realistic. I did find this clumsy.

3. Needless repetition. The reader is treated like an idiot and told the same bits of information over and over and over and over again. Claire lost a baby; Neil lost a child; Claire lives in "rural Montana" (a phrase I am quickly coming to hate); Neil makes tear-drop shaped campers; etc.


I'll finish the book because I want to know who the villian is, but to be honest, I'm skimming.

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