Friday, March 9, 2007


Last week, I picked up a copy of the spring 2007 issue of Publisher’s Weekly, a trade magazine that was recommended reading material from the Southern California Writer?s Conference I attended last month. It’s a pretty magazine with advertising and all on nice magazine paper. But the reviews are where it’s all at.

Pages of reviews for what has to be only a small smattering of books yet to hit the shelves. Within the reviews, I find help for my own writing, and a little motivation. Phrases like, ‘a noteworthy debut,’ ‘the author gets the feelings right,’ and ‘this superb effort.’

Helpful phrases, to me at least, are the ones that aren’t so good and remind me not to do the same. ‘Lackluster hero and heroine,’ ‘teetering between dull and nonexistent,’ ‘muddy background narrative,’ and ‘directionless and meandering plot.’

More phrases I liked: ‘Frenetic disorder,’ ’short on credibility,’ ‘too many angles to make sense,’ ‘jarring effects,’ (I?m guilty of that one.) ‘oversaturated,’ ‘competent but uninventive,’ and ’sluggish and predictable.’ The list goes on and on. If the subscription to Publisher’s Weekly wasn’t so expensive ($239.99 a year U.S.), I’d get a kick out of reading it every week. I’ll admit it’s pretty cool to see what will be coming out months beforehand and the reviews are great to browse through.

Note to self: Make list of all these phrases and check it periodically during writing/editing process.

In other news, I’ve finished reading Alexandra Sokoloff’s first novel, ‘The Harrowing.’ Nice. A little frenzied at the end, but nice.

Next up on the reading list, Amy Wallen’s ‘Moon Pies and Movie Stars.’

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