bicycle rides :: 5
hours of Wii Fit :: 6
new writing regimes :: 1
days remaining till return to London :: 30
I've been reading a lot about writing recently, with a view to finding out how to make a living out of it. The answer seems to be this: write a bestseller, or better still, a series of bestsellers, like, for example, Stephenie Meyer, the Mormon lady who writes about abstinence disguised as teen vampire lust, and currently occupies seven out of the first 25 places on the Amazon bestseller list. This is particularly impressive as she’s only written five books. She gets around that by cleverly publishing her books twice, once with ordinary white pages, once with red ink along the edges. Some would say that this is a sickening and cynical money-grubbing piece of marketing chicanery, but some people are just jealous. Anyway, the little girls, they love it.
Or of course like Jeffrey Archer, the thief, who can’t write for shit yet still manages to churn out bestsellers like a sump pump in a word-sewer.
I’m sorry for going on about Jeffrey Archer, but having finally read one of his books, I’m just staggered that his is the kind of writing that millions and millions of people seem to adore. I know they’re fucking idiots, but... actually, I don’t. That’s what worries me. Maybe these people who eulogise over the super-resilient sociopathic plagiarist are actually right. Maybe he is brilliant. And maybe I’m wrong. Am I wrong? You’d tell me, wouldn’t you? OK, let’s do a little experiment.
While I was reading Shall We Tell the President? - which in the end I did find to be absolutely the worst novel I can ever remember having finished - I turned the corner of the page every time I flushed with embarrassment or cringed into my coccyx. Now I’d like to share the worst bits with you, and I want you to tell me, honestly now, if they really are as poor as I think they are or if, on the other hand, I am blinded by bitterness and envy and a deeply rooted but massively disguised desire to actually be Jeffrey Archer.
Some of these extracts bug me because I feel that they contain one of the following: unrealistic or embarrassing dialogue, horrible clichés, clunking collocation, senseless imagery or merely the inability to use the right word. Oh, and the thing about ‘cocaine smoke’ - I’m guessing he must mean crack, but even if that is the case, it just doesn’t sit right. Does it?
Just in case you haven't figured it out by the way, Simon, in the last extract, is black. We know he's black because a) he talks jive, and b) just about every time he appears, the fact that he's black is mentioned somewhere in the description.
If I am wrong by the way, and the above extracts say nothing to you except that Jeffrey Archer is a good, solid, no-frills thriller writer, then you might enjoy watching this very revealing talk-cum-Q&A, in which the lying lord is self-importance personified and mentions in passing that he's brilliant and amazing and better than Graham Greene and Somerset Maugham and so on and so forth and puke puke puke puke puke puke murder.
OK, OK, enough. Now I have to stop being a jive-ass bastard, put my money where my mouth is and see if I can actually do better. Right. Here I go.
Have a super weekend by the way. Doing anything nice?