Novels · Reading · Writing Tips and Prompts

Read Bad Books

I sent off a story yesterday via the Interweb, and I’m sending another by snail-mail today. To console myself for sending the babies out into the world, I’ve been reading some books I wouldn’t normally read. They’re poorly written, cheesy, cliche, and I’m ashamed to say I’m actually enjoying myself a little.

My other motive for reading these is to clear up space in my bookshelf. With 1,000+ books on the shelf already, it’s hard to find room for the new ones like the 3rd edition of Folk & Fairy Tales.

So far, I’ve read two Star Trek books by Gene DeWesse and three Avalon romances (I started two other Avalon books and one Star Trek, but they were just too bad to finish. Seriously, who writes a female character who spends the first chapter walking abound in nothing but bikini bottoms [with her Dad there, no less] then charging into battle without any alterations to her wardrobe?). Good news for the bookshelves is I’m only keeping one of these eight books.

Anyway, my point about the books I did finish is this: it’s okay to read “bad books” sometimes. They might not teach you how to write great literature, but they can be good examples of how not to write. If you’re trying to break into genre fiction, they might even give you some ideas. When you’re discouraged about not being published yet, you can point at them and say, “Well, if that rubbish can end up in print, surely my novel will catch someone’s eye!”

Well, I’m off to start yet another. This one’s a mystery called Too Many Suspects. We’ll see if I make it past chapter two.

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