As mentioned in earlier blogs, I'm not impressed with poor standards in writing. Although I'm happy to see most writers being succesful, I don't see why we should try and play by the rules and work our arses off crafting something good, when some publishers and writers are happy to publish sub-standard work.
Not that I'm encouraging you to follow suit, or willing to write poorly myself. But if the publishing industry wants to write the rules (not an unfair idea) then they should follow them too.
I'm basing my opinion on a book I spent a good month trying to read (I say trying because it was like sandpapering my soul) which flouts almost every rule and guideline from agents and publishers I've read. That said, in the past I've tried to read several books that could, at best, be called second rate. So this particular one isn't the only cause of my irritation.
I've already banged on about this in earlier blogs, so today I'll just concentrate on a more personal issue about feeding my brain and reading as a learning and motivational experience.
Get Your Motor Running
One of the things we're all told to do as writers is read, and quite rightly so. I find reading is a great way to learn and is also inspirational. There is nothing like reading a good story that is beautifully crafted to fire up the imagination and make one pick up the pen.
Conversley, the opposite is true when you are reading rubbish. I found that over the course of the last month or so I was barely able to write anything, not even short poems, so dessicated was my imagination.
And then I read a great quote that said, in a paraphased stylee:
"There are so many great books out there you should read those first: don't waste good reading time on anything less."
It's a lesson that has been learned the hard way. In future I will stick to my 12 page rule, and that is if I haven't started to like or enjoy the story within 12 pages, then I'll stop reading it because it isn't going to get any better.
What Do You Do?
Does anyone else have such a rule and what is your experience and attitude towards second rate writing?