I have recently signed up to receive a daily writing prompt from Writers Write:
These are designed to get you going in the morning – a sort of verbal laxative, if you will – and I’m finding them very useful. The idea is, you set an alarm for five minutes and write without stopping until it goes off. Today’s prompt was ‘Reading This Book Made Me Feel…’ so I decided to write about the novel which I’ve just returned unfinished to the library as I could take no more of it:
This was puzzling, as I’d seen an adaptation of the novel years ago which both thrilled and horrified me:
and so I expected the book to do the same. It didn’t. Here’s what I wrote:
Reading this book made me feel utterly bewildered. So many people had eulogised this writer (though I’m not sure she was dead) that I expected to find… well, skill, deftness, a way with words. Instead I found what I can only describe as acres of stodge. The dialogue was like old treacle, the characters barely more than cardboard cut-outs (they all have names like Spede and Orloff; names you only find in crime novels) and the plot – well, I suppose the plot was good but I lost the will to discover it as the action was revealed not through narration (let alone exciting narration) nor description but yet more turgid, stilted and unnatural conversation. It’s what Agatha Christie does – and I don’t understand why people rate her either. I think she’s the most boring writer in Christendom. But hey, ho – we live in an age of plot. And that is why I find it so hard to get published.
Have you read ‘The Scold’s Bridle’? Feel free to take issue with the above.