Saturday, May 14, 2011

Missed Opportunities

We all have them, don't we.  Sometimes we choose to miss them and sometimes we don't realize we're missing them.

I read a book this week with a premise so engaging I looked forward to its arrival in my mailbox.  Yes, it was a paper book.  For a whole penny.  (What did that reviewer say?  Yeah.  "Worth the price!")

Again it was well over 100 pages before the "love interest" showed up.  What am I not understanding about this style of writing?  If --geez do I have this wrong after all these years?--the engine of storytelling is conflict and the primary dynamic of your book is between THE MAIN CHARACTERS don't you want the two of them to be in proximity as soon as possible?  Isn't this, again, Writing 101?  

Okay so we dawdled for page after page, close to 200 of them, talking (I'm not even going to say focus because that was more than what was on the page) about the friends and family and nothing really happened.  Isn't something supposed to happen or did I get that part wrong, too?

Finally I was relieved when the guy showed up.  And the premise was so rife with potential, I was excited to see how the relationship and the history of the characters was going to be explored.  I was prepared to savor this one.

And now that I finished the book I can't tell you his history.  The really super interesting choices he made are a mystery.  I know he had his feelings hurt.  She had her feelings hurt.  Okay.  We covered that in a paragraph or two.  Now back to the friends and family and nonsense filler.

What a missed opportunity.

It's shallow.  It's psychologically, spiritually and intellectually unsatisfying.  

Have you ever seen the movie Demolition Man?  (Wow!  Are we lucky someone posted this clip for us!)

All books do not have to be "taco bell".

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