6 July 2011

The China Syndrome

Well, that's a relief.

I have been getting discouraged about how difficult it will be to get my manuscipt to the degree of perfection that might allow it to be published and read. Now, I am feeling a little more relaxed about the whole thing.

I sat in a car at the weekend and was driven to and from Nuremburg, a 1700 mile round trip if you exclude the ferry.  Apart from a sore bum, I emerged unscathed and having read Kraken by China Mieville on the journey.  I may have become a bit picky with all this editing I am trying to do but Mr. Mieville's lengthy tome seemed riddled with mistakes.  Bear in mind this book has been published by one of the leading imprints and would have received the full editorial treatment.

China Mieville is one of the most original and innovative writers around.  His Perdido St. Station was wonderful and so was The Scar.  Kraken is a bit patchy to say the least.

Plotwise, there was alot going for it.  Too much at times.  Plenty of good solid Mieville wordplay but I felt a touch let down by the way the nasty villian got his comeuppance.  He (or they) went from omnipotent and invulnerable to dead and gone too easily for it to be at all satisfactory.  The criminal mastermind was bested through the judicial use of a bit of sticky tape.  All this in a tale of gods, demons, angels, magic and the end of the world.

Even so, there was enough inventiveness to keep my interest.  There were also plenty of typos and poor grammar.  Worse still, the point of view shifted about alarmingly at times leaving me wondering whose voice I was supposed to be hearing and how they knew what was going on in other people's heads.

Don't let me put you off reading Kraken, if you like Mieville (or even Gaiman) you will almost certainly enjoy it.

What it has taught me is to be a lot more forgiving with myself, get my main characters established and the plot believable and don't get too hung up on the niceties of style and composition.

Due Diligence is out to beta readers, I'm hoping to get some good feedback very soon.  Maybe it won't need alot doing to it.