Saturday, 27 September 2008

pain/paean

For I am Publishers Weekly, and lo, I am bored:

'...a pleasant, if shallow interlude'. '...too much of which isn't especially insightful or funny.' 'Clearly, subtlety is not the order of the day. Sadly, neither is quality storytelling.' 'The narrative is preachy and bland.'

How. Could. You. Stand. It??? How could you stand to write a book and worrit and hope and pray and fearfully open up the hallowed PW pages, or not open them but have someone else open them for you, only to find your blood, sweat and tears boiled down to being 'not enough to buoy a routine plot'?

Weird, reviews of stuff. Regular folks just don't have to deal with such things. Why, I almost never read of myself in the library journal, "her dialogue with publishers is predictable and weak,' or 'while her copy-editing is incisive, the actual figures are very routine, which detracts from the pace', or even, "her selection of YA books for our collection is interesting and creative, but she has failed again to avoid the heavy-handed Kiwi-isms that tend to lace her decisions.'

Creative people. How are you not always sobbing into your tea and bourbon? Because everyone is never going to like your book. I mean, PW does like some books, as well as being so fearfully bored with others. But does one reviewer's 'skilful, nuanced mosaic' cancel out another's 'disorganised plot and one-dimensional characters'?

O God. A 'routine plot'. The cold sweats and the vapours.

2 comments:

Leslie said...

'Those who can, do; those who can't, become critics.' Yep, it's a wonder anyone ever publishes anything. Or performs in public. Or creates art. Wrestling with ones Muse must be nothing compared to reading scathing reviews of the result. I guess it's no shock so many artists find solace in reckless behaviour. Though I would strongly advise against shaving ones head and forgetting to wear panties when the paparazzi are around just because Publishers Weekly found your plot 'shallow'...

Amber said...

Is Muse wrestling anything like Mud wrestling?