Sunday, 22 December 2013

The Craptorium

The above title is one I use when referring to the place where things of no lasting worth or value belong. It is a place where crappy things reside, or where they should reside. A category, if you will, of the crappiest sort. A dwelling of rot and rubbish and all things utterly pointless.

I can't remember now why I chose this image.
Maybe it has to do with all the crap left on the earth
that Wall-E was cleaning up all by himself :)

I used to think the Craptorium was a destination reserved for the likes of Volvo 960 wagons, wallets that won't stay shut, copies of Twilight, and hairbrushes that don't brush because the bristles can't stand up to the task. I have discovered it is also a place where books can be found, and I ain't taking about bookshops.

The Craptorium is not altogether real (though friends say there are some that do exist), but the books that can be found in said depository are... well... crappy. They are the kinds of reads that are essentially pointless, meandering, confounding, time-wasting and often (but not always) very badly written. You'll know you're reading a Craptorium book because you'll either give up reading it, throw it across the room, wish you never bought it, or you'll know your nearest three year old can write something better. I knew a dog with a brain the size of a pea, and it could've done a better job.

There is no point in counting the amount of books we've read or started to read, only to find they're disappointing to the max.

My point is that there's a lot of rubbish out there, and it's been published. By real actual publishers. Big name publishers who know what they're dealing with. There is no middle ground: these books bomb, or they succeed. The bottom line is that if you are a writer you should take comfort from this BECAUSE it's a black and white reminder that someone IS doing worse than you, and yet they made it into print. Probably even did some signings. They may not get a second contract based on the performance of the first book, but hey, they got there.

And "there" is where every writer wants to be.

Keep writing, and do aim to stay out of the Craptorium. It'll be good for all of us as well as the forest your pages mow down. These printed offerings give us something to aspire beyond, to learn from, and to appreciate. Authors have given it a go, and for whatever reason, they won. Just remember that if someone doesn't like your work, someone somewhere will.

For every rubbish book there are dozens and dozens of winners, and this is even more encouraging. It's one of the aspects that does inspire us to keep going. No one can tell the story the way you do, so don't stop your dream. Keep going. Persevere, and take heart :)

Q: How much of what makes a book good or bad is a matter of opinion?


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