Monday, July 24, 2006

Smart Bitches Day

I've not too much to say, but I have one really big rant. I'm not a fan of retrospective stories. I don't mind a story that takes place in the past, but one that takes place in the future, is told in real time in the past and has huge spoilers before even the first half of the story is shit! Flashbacks where we see the jovial fun loving character doing amazing things only to be told that they died tragically before even getting to how their character is important to the story is lame. It's like telling the punch line of a joke and making me wait for the set up three hours later - it's not funny anymore. It's not fun to read either.

One of these stories is, and here I go slagging off a classic, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie . For all it's only a couple hundred pages, and takes place in my beloved Edinburgh, I can't get past page fifty because she's already told me some of the students who I really like are dead. Why should I bother to read on? I don't even care how they died - you've ruined the book for me by spilling the ending. I'm sure it goes on to be a great book, but I'm not interested - I feel cheated out of discovering for myself what happens. Isn't that the point of writing a story - to take me on a journey. I don't need plotlines spoon fed to me so the end won't make me cry. Go ahead - make me cry, it's what I shelled out the bucks for isn't it?

The current book I'm reading, War Crimes for the Home does this too, although not as blatantly as Jean Brodie. This one is, unfortunately, predictable. I'm now skimming through to the bits I can be bothered to read and skipping the stuff I've already figured out. I know there's a scene where the daughter who was put up for adoption will have it out with the mother, Gloria, who now suffers from dementia and can't remember ever having a daughter - that'll be worth reading. I also want to read about how Gloria and her American pilot split up, why did she become a prostitute - see I already know she was a prostitute because she mentions it in the present but we've not got to that bit yet in the flashbacks. This timeline shit is very annoying!

I don't mind foreshadow - I love foreshadow it's wonderful, tantalizing and keeps me reading every word the author struggled to compose. But just telling what's going to happen is like going to a strip club and the woman are all already naked - no surprises, no teasing, no point. (And I'm fully aware that that particular analogy makes me look like a lesbian, but I didn't know what else to use as a comparison. I probably will in a couple days.) you should have just given me the synopsis if you wanted to ruin the whole story for me, would've cost less to print and saved you, the author, a lot of weeks/months/years of stress in writing it.

That's it. I don't want too much too soon, I want to find the surprises myself and don't tell me a character is dead in the first chapter when I have a whole book to read yet, about them. It's creepy! Unless they're a ghost, then it makes sense, otherwise it's a really dumb plot device that pisses me off.

Have something you want to bitch about regarding books, writing or romance then please share and send it up to Beth, the hostess of Smart Bitches Day.

1 comment:

BeadPerkins said...

Wassup, Lyvvie?
Yeeeeeeeeeeeee haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!