You know, I take my time when I look for a book to buy. I'm making an investment and I want to make sure I have a good return on my investment, i.e. I will enjoy the story. I become naively upset when my purchase yields, well, crap. This does happen from rare time to time so you would think I'd just pfft and toss the wasted story over my proverbial shoulder, right? Maybe it's the writer in me, but no, I get upset. And it's a selfish, jealous upset.
I've been trying for awhile to be published, and I will continue to try until the day (and from then on) when an editor contacts me back with something in the form of "we want you!" I work hard on my stories and on my edits. I cast vulnerability to the side when my stories are critically critiqued. I rewrite and make new edits, and my rejection letters are beginning to turn into a pile. But that's okay with me. I know I'm growing as a writer and I am determined.
But let me buy a book where I can hardly finish the story due to unidentified pronouns, mixed up time lines and confusing as hell sexual positions and it makes me madder than a stirred up hornets nest.
God bless the author, I try to tell myself. I really don't think I'm upset with her as a person. She's no doubt been in the same position I'm in where she's toiling away for publication. Then she gets a lucky shot with some publishing house. Now this is where the disgust really comes to play. How can any sane editor or publisher be okay with putting out a work that is, in a nutshell, confusing?
The story I just made myself finish, because I bought the damn thing, sounded good at first. If I am not distracted by the writing, I can let almost anything go. It was obvious this author worked hard on the first chapter of her book. Beginning with Chapter Two, however, I began second guessing my purchase. By the time I made it to Chapter Three my eyes popped open with disbelief. I went back to check the author's name and the publishing house and they were both legitimate (not complete unknowns, in other words). Considering I was less than one third through the book, I shook my head then proceeded to plow through to the end.
My suspension of disbelief now evaporated, I scanned past the endless sex scenes that took up too much of my time figuring out (were they both on their knees upright or laying down? Wouldn't she drown if she went down on him while he sat in a tub full of water? These kinds of things). I laughed out loud at the pretentiousness of the dialogue (a scullery maid saying things like "uprooted myself," "be that as it may," "summarily"), and I became amazed anew that in less than 12 hours, a young, virginal woman - did I mention this was an historical - willingly gave herself to not one, but two men, complete strangers at that, and even begged to try - and enjoyed - anal play! C'mon. Fantasy is one thing, but there has to be even a modicum of realism for me to fall into the tale.
Still, I don't hold it against the author. I am no hypocrite as I'm not published myself. I am no doubt working through my own hideous errors that some editor out there is squinching her eyes and saying "Please God, how can I tell Ayla to not quit her day job!"
And this is why I am not too upset that my stories have not seen the light the publishing day. When my stories are out there for the reading public, I want them to buy with confidence that they will have one hell of a story in their hands (or kindle or nook or ereader...). The right editor and the right publisher are out there for me.