Pet Hates and Realizations

Good morning, good morning. (It’s still morning right?)

I’ve done a bad thing, a very bad thing. I had a bit of a crappy weekend so I downloaded a book. It was supposed to be supernatural fiction. I was fooled by a Christian sounding name and then down the rabbit hole I went. Turns out, its not even remotely Christian. It’s barely young adult fiction and yet I am committed to finishing the stupid thing. Gah! I’ve lost time.

And I’ve arrived at a few realizations.

#1. Naming characters is hard. I was reading this book thinking “I really hate the main characters name!” and getting all judgey on the author despite her ability to write a huge number of bestsellers that I haven’t achieved yet. Then I realized I actually hate the main characters name in my own book. Well the first one anyway. I tried to change it before it went to print, but I couldn’t. It was stuck. It didn’t make sense to call him anything else. He was Ethan. I hate the name. But its his name. So I can no longer get all judgey on other authors choices, because even though bad character names is a pet hate of mine, I can’t avoid it. Someone, possibly even me, will hate my characters names. My only hope is that they like my characters.

#2. I can’t do book-worthy thinking in the mornings. My brain doesn’t wake up until 12. I can do dishes in the mornings. I can clean. I can read stuff. But there is this golden zone of concentration where I can create worlds and labyrinths, and winding story-lines, and its basically an amusement park that doesn’t open until noon. I fight it, I wait by my computer for the light-bulb to blink on. But then I just waste hours and my house doesn’t get cleaned. That’s a pet hate of mine.

#3. The internet ruins all my hopes and dreams. You want to know about a really frustrating conundrum? If you are going to succeed as an author, you need to promote yourself online and have a strong social media presence (something I’m not nailing if truth be told. More on that later). But if you are present on social media, you can so easily fall prey to the infinite scroll. Oh the pull of the infinite scroll. Oh the innovation and invention that hasn’t happened yet because the potentially great minds are caught in the infinite scroll.

Dramatic? Yes. Untrue? Not so much.

#4. Short books are as hard to write as long books. You have to scrutinize every word to a whole new level. You have to pack as much meaning into the short book as the long one. You have to leave the reader wanting more. I hate when I pick up a short story and put it down feeling unimpacted. The flip side of that pet hate is that if I don’t want to contribute to the empty or frustrating fiction out there, I need to do better.

I think I’m up for the challenge. When I started this blog post it was 11.56am. It is now 12.05pm. The amusement part is open for business. I’m off! Over and out.


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