Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Land of Dead Novels?

I got sick from holiday stuff (kids mutate common colds into nastiness that could fell an elephant), as apparently did my 'cool old house' connection, so one concept shall have to wait a little while. (Though the house is uber-cool, and I want to take advantage of it for the very brief time I have access - AAAAAAAAGGH!)

While on one of my virtual jaunts, I came across perhaps one of the odder literary ideas so far:

It's exactly what you think it is. People upload and display 'trunk novels' - those sorta mostly finished but for whatever reason no agent or publisher will touch it - stories that every writer has sitting either somewhere in the house or in a hard drive(in my case, a drive that died about eight computers and more than ten years ago).

What I dig about the site - the 'about us' page is refreshingly up front, basically 'don't go to us unless you've exhausted every other outlet', and 'all we do is host the work'. They charge nothing, and promise nothing.

Well, almost.

They do say 'hey, at least you'll be read'.

I tried, I really did. Started five or six of these books. Each one, I gave up .. the end of the first paragraph. I will not disclose what part of their library I tried to read.

There's a damn good reason that nobody wanted to pay for these. Across the board problem: lousy writing. Passive, mostly. Cliched, purple, and some turns of phrase that would have impressed even the immortal Travis Tea.

(If you don't know what I'm talking about, do google Atlanta Nights - it's worth it in so many ways!)

The problem is, these weren't writers trying to write badly to a particular end. Atlanta Nights is so purposely bad, that it becomes a really fun farce. Take out the fun, and all you have is a bad book.

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