Jun 19, 2008

Getting Into the Game

By Kari Pike

I love to read. I love free stuff. Imagine my delight when I received not one, but two free paperback books in the mail as part of a promotion for “heartwarming inspirational romance.” Free and clean? Wow!

Hmmmm…I learned something reading those books. I am a writer! But since I’m not published yet…does that make me an arm chair writer? (Think arm chair quarterback…you know…tells everyone else what to do, but doesn’t really play the game in person.) Reading those novels was one of the most painful, yet educational reading experiences I have had in a long time. Every other page I complained about sentence structure, point-of-view changes, and lack of fact checking. My husband laughed and asked why I continued to read the book if it was that bad. In defense of the book, I did care about the main character. I wanted to know what happened to her. But I found myself looking more for problems than enjoying the story.

In one chapter, there were no less than 5 point-of-view changes on one page. That distracted me. I had to keep rereading in order to figure out whose head I was in. The run-on sentences exhausted me. The prose made me laugh…

“Breathless, she waited while he leaned closer still. The brush of his thumb across her sun-warmed face came as softly as a promise kept. He towered over her, so near she could smell the rain-fresh scent of the fabric softener he used on his T-shirt…”

A few pages later, I learned that you can see through fireman hats. Really!

“The door swung open and a little boy with brown hair sticking straight up dashed into the kitchen. The birthday boy wore a plastic fireman’s hat and a badge…”

I’m not kidding. I copied those sentences just the way they appeared in the book. At first I thought they were referring to two different boys; but no.

So…what is the difference between me and the author of that book? Yeah…she’s published, and I’m not. Not yet, anyway. I think it’s time to get out of my chair, I mean, time to get into my chair and start actually playing the writing game.

What are you doing to get into the game?


  1. Good point. I used the excuse that I wrote at work to keep from venturing into fiction writing; but now I've been promoted out of writing for the most part so hmmmm what is my excuse now?

  2. Thanks for the post. I loved the description of the romance novel.

    How to keep writing...Joyce DiPastena suggested to me that I really try to write 100 words a day. I haven't joined ANWA write but have tried it on my own, and it has really made a difference when I feel overwhelmed and undermotivated in just getting me going and keeping me in the game.

  3. Great post, Kari!I think reading a badly written book is a tremendous boot in the rear. Makes one think, if he/she can be published, then I can, too. It just takes the will to carry on until it happens. Or blind, dumb luck.


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