I’m betting you think this is about the book I’m supposed to be writing… Nope. This is just a simple post to brag that I finished reading a book.
That’s pretty sad. For multiple reasons.
For one, I used to read a ton when I was little. I loved it. I liked stories. I liked following characters through series. It was great.
Then… School happened. Particularly English classes. They ruined the joy of reading for me. It’s rough considering how when I was in high school I got the “I want to be a writer” urge. I wanted to share my own stories, but I fucking hated reading.
Those classes forced books on us. Books that are considered classics. I hated just about every one of them. They were dry, long winded, and full of irritating characters that I just couldn’t identify with at all.
I hate that school killed my desire to do a lot of things. I hate even more that the effect has lasted for years after. Books and art were two of my favorite things before, and the joy of both were dredged through the dirt, beaten down by horrible novels and trashed by horrible teachers.
So, this is why I am writing now. Well, blogging. I finished a complete book. It is an accomplishment for me, as sad and pathetic as that sounds. Still, I am a master of starting to read a novel, getting a few chapters in, and then completely forgetting that I have the book. When I finally remember, I have to start all over because I’ve forgotten what was going on. Rinse, repeat x 100.
As you may know (if you even remotely read my ranty blog here), I am trying to get better at writing. Not just the overall style, but pace too. As in, actually sitting my ass down and writing something. Writing anything. It gets me working.
Backstory aside, the book that I managed to read was A Kiss of Shadows by Laurel K Hamilton.
Alright, so here’s the thing… For one, I got the book super cheap. It was part of the haul when I nabbed several books at 90% off when a bookstore in town closed a few years ago. I recognized the author.
Now, this is the first time I’ve read any of her writing. I had recognized the name because a while back I did some half assed research into vampire books and what was currently out there. You know, what people were reading other than fucking sparkle ass teen drama. Her name came up, and when I saw some of her books on the shelf, I grabbed them.
For one, yes, I do need to read more. I need to be doing something other than playing video games all fucking day long. For two, like I said, it’s research.
The story that I need to write is a supernatural story, and it also contains a lot of sex. (Vampires and sex. Duh.) So, since I have never actually written a story containing erotic scenes, I figured that I would finally buckle down and read a book like that. I know when I was younger that I avoided the “trashy novels” like the plague. I like fantasy, but not the “Omg, he’s so dreamy and will whisk me away like a goddess” kind of fantasy. Just… Ugh.
I will say this right now. My story might be supernatural, but relationships are based in reality. There is no Disneyfied romance here. Characters don’t fall irrationally in love at first glance and get married within two seconds, living happily ever after. Fuck that. That’s boring and gross. My characters have issues. Their relationships require work.
Still, I wasn’t sure how to write the sex scenes. I would say that I’m not completely sure, but after reading her book, I’ve gotten a bit of insight as to what I would do.
Now, the book itself was… Odd. I realize that this was one of her early works, and I’m kinda hoping that she has improved since then. Honestly, the second I was done reading it, I just wanted to edit the shit out of it.
There was so much repetitive phrasing and redundancy that some chapters were difficult to trudge through. The story seemed chaotic, and sometimes there were scenes put in that were odd fillers rather than useful points.
The sex scenes? Also a bit confusing at times, due to the fact that she tried to give them a supernatural twist. Including powers and trying to describe weird things during a sex scene made it awkward.
I also wasn’t a fan of the way she dismissed rape as a joke. One of the early sex scenes was basically a magically drugged rape scene. I can understand using it to denote who the bad guy is, and why things are wrong, but shortly after the main character hopped into bed with someone else. Just… No. I realize that people deal with things in different ways, and it was even stated by the character herself that she didn’t deal with it the way everyone thought she should have. Still, it didn’t make it less fucked up and weird. It was like “Hey, my friend was raped. I’ll sleep with her to make her feel better.” Um, what the fuck??
Also, towards the end of the book, the last sex scene truly bothered me. Not because it was rough sex, but because of the dialogue preceding it. A character was hesitant to sleep with the main character because he didn’t feel safe. He didn’t trust himself to not just ravage her. Now after 800 years of no sex, it’s understandable that you want to just fuck the shit out of someone when you finally get the chance. However, the whole “It’s ok. You can do what you want. You can’t rape the willing.” statement pissed me off.
I fucking hate that phrase. Mainly because I’ve been through it. There is a certain line that is always there. You may allow things to happen, but when someone crosses the line, and you tell them no… And they keep going? Yeah, that’s rape. That stupid phrase gives people the idea that if you say once yes, that you’ll always say yes.
So yeah, that being the “finisher” scene did not sit well with me.
Overall, I give the book a meh. There were parts that I kind of enjoyed and parts that irritated me, but the ending left me completely unsatisfied. It was rushed, and had a wrap up chapter that just told you about everyone until The End. Book over. Just… what?
It just seemed like she didn’t know how to end the novel, so she did a recap of everything. It’s like the end of a comedy film where they tell you what happened to each character. It was odd and didn’t actually bring closure to the novel.
So, what did I learn? Well, I know that I would phrase things differently. I can’t stand sentences that are too repetitive. I know what words I wouldn’t use to describe anatomy. I know that reading this book actually made me feel better about my writing.
I’m not saying that I’m the best. Far from it. However, after reading a book like this, I feel better. I know that there are even worse ones out there, and they are still successful. So maybe if I actually start writing this fucking story out, then people might be ok with it. I will not expect a huge draw, but even if a few people read it and actually want more, then I will consider it a success.
For now though, blogs are happening. I’m working on posting more often. I know I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again. Still, this is now 1317 more words than I had written yesterday.