10.10.11

An Open Letter to All Writers of Books

Dear writers,

Hello, how are you? I hope your days are productive, your verbs are appropriate and your advances are suitably high. I do not wish to fall out, as I love and respoect what you do. Really. It's just I have a small bone to pick with you.

Your chapters are too long. Yes, I said it. A pertinent issue it might not be, in these times of no money or hope, but your chapters are rambling and often irregular, making it difficult to tell whether I am better off starting another one or finishing where I am, without flicking forward to find the next break and inadvertantly seeing the precise word on the page that gives everything away. It's a type of K-Complex I think, like hearing your name in far off conversations. I can't help but see 'yes', she sighed', 'she surrendered' or 'she died'. It leaps at me when I'm looking for the chapter break, so I don't like to go looking.

But if it's not immediately apparent, how do I know whether to stay or go? To turn off the light, or to blink and bit harder and commit to just another page, another page, another page. Inconsistency is maddening, but consistently epic chapters are disheartening and give the impression that one is standing still whilst running manically forward. A chapter read is a chapter marked off. A chapter given up on half-way through is a reader defeated by a desperate need for the bathroom, distraction or sleep. None of these are desirable reader-types. Do you not desire desirable readers?

Alas, lately I have struggled - 'The Woman in White' was a superlative example of the well-judged chapter, perfect for the pre-sleep read of the short, relaxing type. However, the space beside me in bed is occupied currently by a George R. R. Martin reader (that's what he's currently reading, not whose currently there) and the chapters in that are, well, the sort of chapters one might find in a book that's taking at least six books to finish.  40 minutes have passed and no cliff-hanger has been found. There is apparently no natural break between dragons and incest that doesn't take at least 45 minutes to reach. My light goes off; his light stays on. It is most irritating - I have even had to resort to buying a sleep-mask. I feel like the weaker reader of us two, but what is one to do? I need my beauty sleep. One could cross counties on a commute without a chance to disembark.

So, dear writers, here is my plea. Keep the chapters at a clip and I will be a well-rested, happy blogger, who will gladly dish out positive reviews and the most gleeful of literary nonsense. Keep them long and, well, the sleep-mask is on. Help a girl out, why don'cha?

I hope my concerns are met with an appropriate degree of consideration and dismay.

Best wishes,

A very tired Lyndsay x
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