Friday, July 26, 2013

I wrote a book review and it almost killed me

It's like, how do these people do it for a living? I suppose they get into a groove, they know how to do it, they are paid to do it, and they get better the more they do it. But FUCK, talk about hard work. First you're worrying about if the author reads it, and if the publisher reads it. Then you worry if you seem like a dickhead. And THEN you worry about not making sense.

Writing fiction is much easier.

The problem is on my 'writer website' I have set myself up to do these things. I have put it out there that I want to do them, want to learn how to do them, and will do them. I put this one off so long it was ridiculous. The other stupid thing is I said I didn't want to do superficial reviews, I wanted to get meaty and in-depth.

So now I can't even just do some trite ones to tick the box.

I'm an idiot.

All I can do is do a few, but every so often. Do them right, but not frequently.

I mean it took me ALL DAY.

(Not wanting sympathy or someone to advise, just wanting to complain. Thanks!)

Hope everyone is good, and that no one is writing a book review. Just read books, don't worry about trying to work out what it is you do or don't like.

HEY ALEX remember 1Q84? That was fun...

13 comments:

groverjones said...

Hello, long time, no comment!
If you need validation as a reviewer, I read 1Q84 based on your posts, loved it, and used the posts as a 'study guide' as I read, so I reckon you're doing OK!
Cheers,
Groverjones

sarah toa said...

Hi Melba, I still get sent books from publicists and they sit on my desk where I look at them with a sense of impending dread.
(Not whining, waving.)
I've had occasions where I've got it wrong. It's excruciating. Digital reviews are hard because they are flicked immediately to the author. But there are some reviews that I am still proud of. I've met the authors and they have let me know halfway into the conversation that they know I wrote 'that' review.
"What did you think?"
"Well the publicist wasn't sure, but I think you nailed it."
Australia is a small town, so that kind of (meta) feedback is just great.
One of my friends, after my review of his book, (To the Highlands, Jon Doust)signed my copy with "You're next Sarah"
Aagh!

Alex said...

Yep, I remember 1Q84. I agree, it was a lot of fun.

I like a good review. Despite being into computers, I've never been that into games; but there was a games-reviews mag I used to buy in the '90s, more-or-less solely for the writing.

Should I read your new review? It sounds like it wasn't much fun at all. And it doesn't sound like you're that keen on feedback, anyway.

Melba said...

Hey grover, amazing you still read sometimes, that's great. So glad you enjoyed the 1Q84 posts and the book itself. I just bought his Wind Up Bird Chronicles and wonder if it will be 'weird.'

Hmm, thanks Sarah, not sure if I'll do lots of them, but it was a good exercise and I'll do a few occasionally.

Alex you're right, I don't want feedback on the review but thanks! Read it if you like or not... I just wanted to complain a bit.

Alex said...

Back on the Vit D: I went hunting and found the internet radio show from the computer security bloke I mentioned way back. Thought you might be interested.

http://media.grc.com/Vitamin-D.mp3

And here's his two-parter on carbs:

http://media.grc.com/TheSugarHill-pt1-64kbps.mp3
http://media.grc.com/TheSugarHill-pt2-64kbps.mp3

...

And here's a comic.

Melba said...

The comic is really funny. I enjoyed. The other links I'll have to check later. But thanks.

Melba said...

I should say the comic is really funny before the digital penetration part. That's not funny, that's something else (whatever you want it to be, who am I, etcetera, etcetera)

Are they yours Alex? If so, very clever and you should own up. If not, well, that's fine too.

HOW'S THE BLOG COMING?

Alex said...

No, it's not mine. It's by local comics creator Trudy Cooper, who also wrote my favourite comic of all time (It's a proper story comic about relationships and stuff. Unfortunately it's been put on hiatus after less than twenty issues, and you'll need Adobe Shockwave (forerunner to Flash) to read the early ones).

I like Oglaf, but nowhere near as much. Although, I'd still be thrilled to write comics that were half that clever for my own blog. Which is coming. Eventually.

Where is the digital penetration part? It's been a while since I read the early ones. I don't remember them all.

Melba said...

Digit-to-anus is in one of the panels where the king is fellating the knight, or whatever. Maybe it's subtle.

Alex said...

Oh, I see. When I sent the link, I was only recommending that one page. Then I thought you must have gone back to the beginning and found one that was just about digital penetration because I couldn't remember any like that.

That one that isn't funny is mostly not funny because it's the second part of this one and doesn't make much sense on its own.

Melba said...

Sadly, strangely, I still thought it was funny. I was just saying the penetration wasn't funny on its own but now I think about it more, it's kind of funny because it went with the felashe, and if he'd never done it before, how would he know that might be a go as well?

Going to stop talking now.

But thanks for sharing, I did think them clever and funny.

Alex said...

if he'd never done it before, how would he know that might be a go as well?

Which is why the first part is important.

felashe

Like it. Must remember it. Sounds much more grown-up than "gobby". On what syllable do you abbreviate cunnilingus?

Melba said...

You can use it, it's quite the elegant term. Chic even. Um, cunnilingus, let me think. Cunnishe doesn't quite work. Think it would have to be cunni but that sounds very '70s and I think it needs its own post. See above.