Do you know that feeling when you’re reading a book that you really enjoy and you want to write something in a similar style? I got it when I started reading Good Omens, the Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman collaboration. I giggled with every page turned and felt the urge to emulate it. Oh, to make people lough like that, to be so witty!
The further I read however, the less impressed I became, mostly because I wasn’t captured by the story. The plot felt secondary to the humor, which became more labored and less funny as the book slowly progressed.
But no book is a waste of time, if you’re an aspiring writer. So much to learn:
- Multiple (multitudinous, in fact) protagonists - good idea or not? The same goes for the narration jumping between different viewpoints and tenses.
- Could the novel be made better with some thorough editing? Would it work as a novella?
- The dominance of stand-up comedy over storytelling — a result of collaboration maybe?
- Why wasn’t the story capturing? What could have been done to make it more engaging?
- Which witticisms were funny and which were not, and why? Note to self — random is not always funny. (Yeah, I went as far as reading some scholarly articles on Pratchett’s humor).
My partner says that ever since I started writing, I’ve lost the ability to enjoy a book, says I over-analyze things. Hmm.
¹ cute as in keenly perceptive and shrewd (18th century meaning)
² naughty as in having nothing (14th century meaning)