01 The Write Elements: Tell the Story to Its End - Simon P Clark - did NOT finish

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Tell the Story to Its End - Simon P Clark - did NOT finish

Image from Google
It was my mum that picked up this book for me, quote unquote The Title Was Interesting.
Reviewing it from the outside is easy. I would say to immediately pick it up, whether you're adverse to seemingly-hauntingly creepy stories. You can imagine so many amazing things that could come from the cover graphics and title.
Just look at this liner and any bibliophile would be intrigued. Your heartstrings are pulled with that quote alone.
Image from The Social Potato
The book certainly had a unique idea that went into it - for a winged creature Eren to feed off of stories told by Oli, or possibly anyone else it can find. Now that is the selling point. That's what readers are here for.
Instead of us witnessing the struggles of a "hero" and his fight to remain in control. It's Basically the devious and powerful entity being all devious and powerful, whilst weakening a defenceless little boy who just wants to feel strong - ouch.
It's my working theory that if you have the tolerance of a saint...try it *sense my cracking voice with pained fake enthusiasm*
But honestly, I wanted to fling the book right back to the library Returns right after borrowing it.
I'm left in a super confused state. I read from the front, and thinking the title was creative I read from the back, groaning in agony, read in clumps of pages, random quotes, attempting to follow the story along, re-reading a part again, brows furrowing, slamming the book in frustration five times, looking at the scenery, looking at the book cover, looking for other reviews, questioning where the minutes went...
That was my process for this book.
I. Didn't. Get. It. And I tried to. I really, truly tried to. The writing doesn't do the idea justice, if the idea was totally substantial at all. If the protagonist was meant to be unmemorable and plain so he can get easily sucked in to Eren's temptations, then it was done perfectly. Zero character development; I didn't even feel the need for a "gang" to be with Oli, even though he made friends who eventually didn't help him At All. The characters were added just for the sake of it.
The plot took forever to get to what happened to the dad - which was the "point" of moving to the relative's place - so much so you can form dozens of your own opinions and still not have it clearly explained, so you're left hanging. It's not a movie. Hanging on till the last moment with snippets of "don't mention your dad to me now" outbursts, Because that may be the way to keep a "gentle" reminder that Oli and his dad were "suffering"...not helping.
The idea was to also give the readers views and sequences between fantasy and reality - showed by the different fonts used - but honestly the "fantasy" bit Till the end - where there was finally something happening with Oli, but won't spoil - was drivel! You don't have to always explain everything in dialogue form that makes it more painful. Where's the art of showing your readers what's in your head/going on in the characters' world? Please, I used the "show, not tell" line my English teacher pounded into our heads for essay writing. Don't make me do that.

As a writer, please, tell me the story you want to tell me till the end...just not like this.

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