The Dread and Evil Had. Also other stuff.

I just finished reading a short story that for me, could have been brilliant. In my opinion, one of the problems with current Literature is that it’s just far too self-aware. You can feel the author behind the scenes saying Look at what I’m doing with these words. It’s vague and — oh, look a pretty phrase! — Aren’t I brilliant?

I hate that.

This particular story jumped around in time, but instead of working at making it seamless, simply dropped in, had with every verb. He had gone. She had eaten Why? Why do that when you can, with a little work, bring that out of the hideous past like that and make it a direct recollection? There are so many ways to avoid the dreaded and evil had.

These verb forms distance. The reader has to put down a mental marker of where the present left off and hold that while reading about crap that happened in the past, and then pick up that marker when they’re back. I’ve read enough, thank you, to know there are short story writers out there who actually write short stories instead of precious little MFA show-off pieces. Go practice your scales in class. Don’t inflict them on me.
OK,so I’m a little more bothered by this than I thought. Sorry.

In other news, it’s Friday and tomorrow I get to go to my local RWA meeting. Yay!

In reading news, I downloaded the free Harlequin books to my iPhone and today I started reading one and ohmygosh. It’s pushing one of my favorite themes; the hero who’s done the heroine wrong and boy is he going to get it when he realizes what a doofus he’s been to his one true love. I love that.

I’m loving this book and I’m going to go finish it shortly. Plus there’s secret babies only she’s been trying to tell him No, stop that. Do NOT think that an email subject line of I’m Pregnant! would have gotten his attention. I’m overlooking that.

I will report back when I’m done.

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