Writing Challenge Day 28: The saddest writing/reading thing this month

Bit of a downer, this one, but I’m both sad and cross.

My reading tastes are pretty wide-ranging. This most important thing about any novel/novella  or short story is the it’s a good story with well drawn characters and an enticing plot. I was brought up to finish a book before commenting on it, so however poor a start, I’ll plough on in a spirit of optimism.

I’ll read almost anything: from Pascal Mercier’s Night Train to Lisbon and Kafka’s The Trial to These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer and Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. One genre I particularly enjoy is crime and thrillers, especially historical ones like the Lindsey Davis’s Falco series and anything by CJ Sansom. I’m quite fond of John Grisham, Tom Clancy and, of course, J D Robb’s Eve Dallas stories in a futuristic America.

So when I found a new (to me) thriller author with great ratings, I experienced that little tingle of joy at the discovery of a new source of reading delight. A stylish spy thriller. Excellent!

I had to put it down at page 82; bored, irritated, puzzled and sad. And deeply disappointed. Its stylishness was so self-referencing, it precluded enjoyment. The pacing was poor, the descriptions so convoluted and sometimes only decipherable by those living in a prescribed part of one US city.

I kept falling asleep over it. I pinched myself awake only to struggle with the inconsistent characterisation.Occasionally, driven by atrocious editing, I roused myself enough to reach for my red pen, but I didn’t have the energy to flick the cap off.

Putting the book down, I felt a sense of guilt and failure. But then relief and release. I’d made my decision. I wasn’t going to pick the wretched thing up again. It went into the outbox, otherwise known as the bin.

I rarely throw a book away. Perhaps I’m not its ideal reader. Actually, nobody is its ideal reader. But a sense of sadness lingered…

Writing challenges so far:

Day 27: What’s your favourite trope?
Day 25 & 26: Favourite books as child and adult
Day 24: What to write next
Day 23: What did you write last?
Day 22: What’s your current word count?
Day 21: My preferred genre
Day 20: Characters’ favourite food (and drink!)
Day 19: Characters’ pastimes
Day 18: Characters’ pet peeves(!)
Days 16 & 17: Favourite outfits (combined)
Day 15: The many-hatted author
Day 14: Show your workplace
Day 13: A funny family story. Or not
Day 12: Early bird or night owl?
Day 11: Favourite writing snacks/chocolate porn
Day 10: Post an old picture of yourself
Day 9: Post 5 random facts about you
Day 8: What’s your writing process?
Day 7: Introduce your ‘author friend’
Day 6: How the writing all began
Day 5: What inspired the book I’m working on
Day 4: The setting for the new Roma Nova book
Day 3: Introducing the main characters Julia and Apulius
Day 2: Introduce your work in progress
Day 1: Starting with revealing information


Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers –  INCEPTIO,  PERFIDITAS,  SUCCESSIO,  AURELIA,  INSURRECTIO  and RETALIO.  CARINA, a novella, and ROMA NOVA EXTRA, a collection of short stories, are now available.  Audiobooks are available for four of the series. NEXUS, an Aurelia Mitela novella, is now out.

Find out more about Roma Nova, its origins, stories and heroines… Download ‘Welcome to Roma Nova’, a FREE eBook, as a thank you gift when you sign up to Alison’s monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be first to know about Roma Nova news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

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