Blog No. 100
Fanfare, celebration, cheers, high-five’s all around! Something amazing has happened and it’s at the top of the post. I have somehow managed to write 100 of these posts, ranging from barely passable to really not bad. I’d even say I had at least a couple goods too. I’m proud of myself and I’m not all that ashamed because it’s a really accomplishment for me. Sticking with this for so long, so regularly – no small feat for someone with my lack of sticktoitiveness. But again, like always, I am off topic right from the start (the way I like it).
So I was working at a different venue the other day. I had gotten used to having wifi in the places where I work and this place (mysteriously) didn’t have any. Most of my files are on my cloud hard drive and a flash-drive, but with a tablet that can’t (with the equipment I have) take the portable drive, and no internet connection. I had no access to any of my files. The first thing I did was to see what I had saved on my tablet, but it was all old stuff and I didn’t want to guess where I had left off. So I decided I would read. I always keep my ereader handy, though it’s been a while since I loaded any new books onto it. Eventually (after scrolling though a bunch of what was there) I decided to read Ready Player One again. I’ve read it a couple times before (and even did a review on it before), it’s one of my favorite books. There is nothing special with the writing or plot, but it is a really a fun ride. (The review is buried at the bottom of this post: https://benwltp.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/the-coincidence-of-the-new-year/).
This time around I noticed a lot more of the writing. I’d like to think it’s because I’m maturing as both a writer and a reader, but I’m pretty sure it’s all a state of mind thing. Working on the edits of Christian’s and my collection, trying to bring up the level of writing, it’s currently in the forefront of my thoughts. But I’m pretty sure it means I’m learning. The writing (like the plot) is fine. It isn’t overly difficult or too simple. There are places where I would have changed things (and a couple spots where I think the editor was sleeping) but overall it’s fine. I don’t want that to come off as a insult (or a sign of my growing ego) it’s just fine. Sometimes it feels easy (using the same phrases and metaphors I’ve seen a thousand times before) but it’s competent and suites the story. There are even a few pages that stand out (I know because I found I didn’t notice the writing there at all). It’s a never ending argument, should the writing be invisible, or amazing. I think it depends on the author. I’ll go back to my Philip K. Dick vs. Al Purdy conundrum. Dick’s writing serves the story and Purdy’s story serves his writing. Both are good in their own use.
The plot (specifically) is a mix of ideas I’ve seen before and nostalgia up to your armpits. Again, there isn’t anything special there (on its own) but together, there is a believability that underlines the fantastic adventure and being a kid who lived in the 80s and 90s, a real ability to experience a future spawned by those periods. The emphasis (it seems) is all about the fun ride and I bought into it from the start. There was a bit of too much, too obvious, too sappy, teenage drama part way though, but the characters were not much older than teenagers, so I try to keep my eye rolling to a minimum. What gets me is the strong conclusion. I am always afraid that in my own writing, I’ll start something that falls flat in the end, then I remember that the books I like had many edits and several sets of eyes to help it achieve that – and this story does. The ending (along with the whole I suppose) sets me up for the fall at the end (literally). As soon as I finish a book like that (that I like so much) the feeling of loss when it’s over puts me in a stupor as I scramble to find another book to fill the void. So I guess you can say I like it.
On a final note. Reading it again, I found that I reveled in the task of the main character. The story revolves around a contest with which the protagonist is obsessed. He throws himself into it with everything he has, living his life around that goal. To have a task would be amazing – like a video game. I suppose writing is my task, but it isn’t the same. It’s too generic or broad a goal (in comparison). I wasn’t always the best student, and I didn’t always enjoy my time in school, but when I got into Lit in university, I found my study of novels and poetry a bit like that all consuming task. I suppose I still read a bit like that today, seeing as I have written a second review of a book.