4 thoughts on “Wow

  1. But he’s a published novelist! How can you possibly accuse him of writing badly?

    I have to say I agree with you, though – this particular passage rather leapt out at me:

    It was as the figure before him spoke that he noticed that her mouth contained a full set of dog like incisors, upper and lower.  The hand that was on her hip ended in rather nasty-looking claws. “You interrupted me in my exercises, and I have lost count, argh. I should kill you for this!”

    “Um, oh please don’t, I didn’t see a thing really.” A bit of terror filled his voice and he struggled to comprehend just what was happening.

    “ Well I wont be able to do it right now anyway, you’re screaming might get at least some attention. Why don’t you sit down on that bench over there and see if you can talk your way out of this? It will at least be rather amusing to watch you squirm.”

    “Thanks. I will try!” He managed before he sat down

    The phrase "a bit of terror" reminded me of one of Peter Cook’s last TV classics, when he appeared on Clive Anderson’s show as a man who’d been abducted by aliens. When asked to describe his feelings, he said "I felt strangely calm… and at the same time horribly terrified."

  2. Having done a bit of digging, it looks as though both his print opuses were vanity-published, which comes as no surprise when you have a look at this extract from one of them.

    (In all fairness I should point out that I’m a professional editor and therefore probably hypersensitive when it comes to sloppy writing – but I’ve never had to beat anything like this into shape!).

  3. I’ve also been a professional editor, and this was mildly worse than even the articles written by English-as-a-third-language academics out of pharmaceutical jargon were before editing.

    I spotted the vanity publishing as well, which was a relief. The books will’ve set him back $1000 in total, which isn’t necessarily how I’d use the money…

  4. If you’ve had to edit academics as well, I deeply sympathise – I edit academics and journalists at the moment, and there’s no question which group is better at meeting deadlines, writing to required length, and respecting the style guide. Or indeed bothering to read it in the first place.

    The other problem I’m sure you’ve come across is that the quality of the work is usually inversely proportional to its author’s preciousness about the sanctity of every single syllable…

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