Hope… Warning… it’s all the same

So, I’ve now read four of Connie Suttle’s urban fantasy novels, the first of which I talked about a few days ago.

There are two more out, but I think I’m done for now. Unfortunately, the quality of the writing didn’t get any better, and the story lost a lot of its appeal when I realized that all of the male characters had started to seem exactly the same, and entirely loathsome.

(Especially every single one of the love interests. I’d be more than happy to see every single one of them die horribly.)

Partly, though, I hit my flying snowman moment, that one extra detail that shatters your suspension of disbelief like a plate falling off the George Foreman grill onto the kitchen floor. (That was a couple of days ago too.)

I don’t know if the same detail would have hit someone else the same way, but there were a bunch of other details that had already nudged my suspension of disbelief off balance, so I think it was inevitable that something would.

In any case, if reading the first of her books reassured me that a good story can shine through even if your writing isn’t ZOMG AWESOME! yet, then reading the next three reminded me how important it is to keep getting better!

Better at writing, better at plotting, better at making the characters believable individuals, better at anything you can recognize as a weak point.

I’m not saying this as a criticism for her so much as a goad for myself. I don’t know what her goals are, or what she’s doing to work towards them.

For me, though, while my enjoyment of her first book in spite of its flaws reassures me that people might actually enjoy my writing, I want to make sure I remember that what I’m shooting for is the kind of enthralling, well-written, elegantly plotted stories that my favorite authors deliver.

It may take a long time for me to get there, and I doubt I’ll wait til then before publishing novels, but I want to make sure that I’m always working towards that goal, and never coasting along on “good enough.”

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