Tag Archives: chick lit

How did this get published??

15 Feb

Taking a break from the No Way Out challenge, I thought today I would discuss the inappropriate use of language.

I say discuss, I am guessing this will turn out as a bit of a rant, but I will let you be the judge.

Now I am the first person to readily admit I often get words wrong, sound like a cockney, and I do tend to use 50 words when one will suffice, not to mention the swearing that tumbles out of my mouth as soon as I am out of work and child free.

Does this come across in my writing? Sometimes yes. You can tell when I have rushed my writing, it tends to be full of insignificant details, on this blog WordPress alarms go off left right and centre over my use of the passive voice, and I often miss my point.

However, when I am writing seriously, and I am taking the time to edit I am freaking amazing. It is no coincidence that I walked away with 84% in my dissertation equivalent. Writing is a skill, one we would all love to have, one many of us strive for. Unfortunately very few have a natural ability.

Most of us, and I include myself in this, have to work hard, understand we are not perfect, and respect the opinion of others when it just isn’t right. We must not just learn from the best, we must learn from each other (obviously in this circle we are all the best so its win win ha!).

From this hard work, for a select few, comes publication, a joyous moment in a writing career. That acknowledgement that you have done something, and done it well. Afterall, if you couldn’t fully develop your characters, have a full plot with natural subplots, have a way with words etc your manuscript would have ended up on the slush pile right?

WRONG!

It is absolutely shocking to me, that I know of so many very talented writers that are still unable to get published, when Waterstones (and all major bookstores, not to mention supermarkets) are stocking the most utter dreadful drivel.

Now before anyone gets on their high horse, I am not talking about genres. Each to their own is what I say, I am talking about writing style/ability/talent…

I have just finished reading a book. It was most definitely chick lit, and it was most certainly a light fun read. However I had a major problem. Well several actually.

The plot focused around a famous family with three daughters. We discovered the life of the parents, the careers and loves of the children, plus the two employees, the boyfriends (and girlfriends), the extended friends and family.

So many characters together resulted in a fight for presence on the page. We never truly got to know anyone, we just accepted the telling of the traits. Momentous occasions seemed to be brushed over, and frequently we were built up expecting something major, for it to just fall flat. Quite often all I was thinking was ‘is that it, all that fuss for this?’

I can’t honestly say we had a protagonist. I don’t believe I truly connected with any of it, but it WAS a page turner…to begin.

I think I was about mid way when I was shocked at the sudden use of the word ‘cock’. It wasn’t that the story hadn’t led to it, it just wasn’t required. It felt like it was on the page because hey this is chick lit and we use language like this, but the reality was, it did not suit the style of writing. After this first incident, it became more frequent the turns of phrase were inappropriately used. I felt that I had this confused expression until the end of story, which ultimately was a let down. It was kinda like reading a celeb mag but having no idea who the celeb was you were reading about.

I think my biggest issue is that I want to stamp my feet like a toddler and shout it’s not fair. Because it really isn’t. This book was poorly executed. It must have passed through so many hands before going to print how was it not picked up that this was just not good enough….and I am certain there are many examples out there that are even worse!

For me it makes a mockery of what us non published writers go through. Why bother plotting, planning, considering, researching, editing…just go write like an eight year old that is trying to impress the grown ups, that’ll do.

Having it and eating it – Sabine Durrant

4 Oct

Maggie Owen has found herself lusting after someone elses life.

Settled with two small boys, Maggie meets with Claire, an old school friend, who appears to have it all. The perfect figure, glamorous life, and oodles of sex.

Maggie believes her partner Jake is having an affair under the pretense of hectic work. As a result, Maggie believes she has the right to have some fun, and starts her own ‘thing’ with the gardener.

It is hard not to like Maggie. A stay at home Mum that spends her time moving from one kid event to the next…even if that is just a trip to the park. Sympathy for her is never far away, especially when Durrant describes the other playground Mum’s; if you have ever spent a morning at the park or at a playgroup you are sure to have met each of the characters. As for Maggie’s thoughts, we have all been there, wanting what others have. That’s why Maggie feels like an old friend, and that’s why you want to belive she is right to do what she does.

But just like an old friend, by chapter 15 you see her warts and all. The irritation at her stupidity begins to seep in. Unfortunately this does not disperse. By the time you have finished reading this book your friendship with Maggie truly is dead and buried. She surely does have her cake and eat it, but who wants friends like that.

Time Warner 2002