How could this happen?
She's been my favorite author for nearly 20 years. I buy her hardcover releases without flinching. Something delicious lies within, and I'm willing to see sparks fly from my credit card to partake.
I once drove 600 miles to attend a conference--dragging 2 friends along--where the author read from her latest book. I mouthed the words as she read.
I wrangled a picture with her. It stands with my collection of her complete works, even though I am smiling like an idiot in an incredibly ugly sweater I had no business wearing.
I aspire to be as authentic, as poetic, as tender with my reader as she is.
This is too sad.
I'm reading her latest. And no, I'm not telling who she is. She's earned the right to slip just this once. At least, I hope it's just this once.
What am I grousing about? Well, she's using italics like they ran a sale at the dollar store. And they don't make sense. She writes in present tense, which I find appealing, immediate, surprising. BUT she takes one small step forward in her story only to take five steps back in a flashback. Aack! I'm getting motion sickness with all the back and forth. Every chapter, several times each. And so much introspection. Pleeease. And get this, her main character is a writer who can't write after the death of her husband.
Or is it me? Am I so obsessive about the craft of writing that I can't enjoy a story that is structured differently or strays from the sacred cows of writing craft? Has being a writer ruined me as a reader?
Is that a price I'm willing to pay?
Am I alone? Do you find yourself editing published works as you read? Are we too hard on the writers out there? Do we criticize the speck in someone else's writing to ignore the plank in our own?