C. A. Casey

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Cheaper Than Therapy

Posted by Casey on January 31, 2007

Why should a writer waste precious time writing something other than the creative drivel she hopes that she can revise into something palatable maybe even publishable?

Something else like a blog?

It’s cheaper than therapy.

While it’s true that creative writing is theraputic, it’s not always theraputic fast enough for writers who can’t crawl out of the duldrums of deep winter. Even in Northern California where it rarely gets cold enough to snow, the duldrums descend like ghosts from a midwestern childhood. Snow might help, since it has a reflective quality that lightens the winter grays and is down right gorgeous against blue sky and sunshine.

Then it doesn’t help to skim through old Miss Snark (http://misssnark.blogspot.com)blogs and find a link to this (The Truth About Diamonds by Nicole Richie):


As a joke, it’s laugh out loud funny. Unfortunately, it’s not a joke.


I love popular culture, even at its silliest, but I have a problem with publishers putting out a poorly written book because they know it’s going to sell a magic number of copies no matter what. Even a book aimed at an audience that doesn’t rank reading high on lists of fun things to do. That’s no excuse for publishing a book that isn’t a quality product.

Couldn’t they have found a ghostwriter who took the job seriously enough to have fun with it? You don’t really think Nicole Richie actually wrote it–as in put fingers to keyboard–do you?

I’m basing my comments on the excerpt. The purpose of an excerpt is to show how great a book is and to compel us all to rush out and buy it.

If that’s the case, HarperCollins we have a problem.

It reads like a first draft–all telling and no showing–that could really come alive with dialogue and action. It reads like an autobiography rather than a novel. Even an autobiography disguised as a novel should be novelistic. If the whole book reads like the excerpt, we have a missed opportunity to mine the unique stuff found inside Nicole Richie’s head and write a well-constructed, entertaining novel.


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