Writing and Reading

I am now 185 pages into Lawful Evil in second draft and already had notes from the agent about it. It’s more technical and descriptive issues than the story, which is a good thing as the story is always the most important thing to me. It is the bass of any book, the foundation and unless that works, not even the prettiest prose will save it.

I have ditched entire drafts and books before. As you write more and often, you find yourself becoming ruthless with the work you do. I don’t want to waste your attention when I have it.

I have finished a few books recently. High Rise by J G Ballard which was brilliant and disturbing, as he wrote in a very unique, cold voice that allows him to slip past some subversive insights and make it all compelling in its ambiguity.

Aftershock by Andrew Vachss was really good, although there were large slabs of exposition when the central story was more interesting but even those digressions were highly entertaining and rich with a ballistic, brutal poetry that kept me reading.

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood was incredible. She tells beautiful stories with an acerbic sense of character and frailty, and there are some lovely subplots that pay off whilst weaving fact and fiction into a story that dripped with intrigue and tension.

Underground Airlines by Ben Winters had a really strong concept and was robustly written, but it felt a little slight in the telling. The inner journey of the protagonist was a little too rote for me to really invest in but the reality of the concept held me rapt at the plausible horror of it.

Good Bones by Margaret Atwood was fantastic. Spare and beguiling stories that make you think and entertain you in a few words. She’s hilarious and cruel and warm, certainly someone who I rate as a writer and as a reader of her work. If anything of hers comes into view, I grab it and read it immediately.

I view reading and writing as the highest expressions of my purpose, and derive pleasure from both of them, so it keeps me motivated. Thank you for reading and liking my work, as well as the comments which are deeply appreciated. A writer wants to be read as much as a reader wants to be written to, or for.


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