Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Am I Pretentious?

I've been reading a ton lately.

I finished the Dark Tower series, the new Dinotopia, the Book of Joby, On Writing, and a drove of comics since September. Being immersed in stories this often has had a huge benefit on my writing. I'm starting to get to the point where I can analyze how books are written without it getting in the way of the story, which is something they've been trying to teach me at Columbia.

Two days ago I started reading Jack Kerouac's book "On The Road." And this morning I put it down. It's the first book I've put down in a while (that's not school related). It makes me feel pretentious to look at what is hailed as a Great American Novel, and by many THE Great American Novel, and just go "meh, it's nothing special." The writing seems amateurish, the story nothing to grab. He does everything that we've been taught against. There are very few actual scenes. He tells us things happen instead of letting the story show it. This means that instead of Character saying, "blah blah blah," we get: and the character told me that "blah blah blah." Maybe I am just pretentious bastard. He even uses the completely unnecessary tag at the end of a story telling us that "it was funny." If it was funny, then you wouldn't have to tell us...

So instead of finishing it (I'll get back to it eventually, I think) I put it down and picked up a "comfort read" in the form of one of my favorite series, the Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell. This series tells a historically rendered tale of the Arthurian legend. These are some of my favorite books. Check em out.

Stay strong WGA!