Monday, November 30, 2009

The Breakup

Dear Novel,

I am afraid that we can no longer see each other. There, I said it. I am putting you down. Phew. That wasn’t easy. Breaking up is awkward. Uncomfortable. I am sorry that I have to do this, but you left me no choice.

Please don’t take this separation personally. It’s not you. Well, okay, maybe it is you. But I take responsibility, too. We are just not right for each other. Yes, I had high hopes when we first got together. Perhaps too high. You were so handsome on that shelf, with your flashy cover art. And the text on your book jacket really pulled me in. At that first meeting I was filled with enthusiasm and anticipation. I talked to my friends about my high hopes for you. And really, you are fine in your own way. But to be honest, after one hundred pages, well, I find you to be a little wordy. I could probably deal with this if you weren’t so slow. This is a bad combo for me. And where is the tension? Sure, I felt it at the beginning, during our first chapter together. But after that, the chemistry evaporated. Again, this is probably just me. I’m sure your slow pace and low tension would be fine for lots of other readers. Really.

Is another novel involved? Um, well, to be honest, yes. Actually, there are many novels. Please don’t think badly of me. Frankly, there are not enough hours in the day. Which is part of the reason why I have to let you go. Of course I feel guilty about putting you down. I made a commitment and now I’m backing out of it. But life is short. Please know that I’ve given this decision a lot of thought. There are many other readers out there who will probably appreciate you more than I have.

So this is goodbye. Good luck to you. I hope there are no hard feelings. No, I won’t trash you on or on Twitter. I do respect you, even if we’re not right for each other.

Very truly yours,



  1. love the line, "It's not you. okay, maybe it is you". that made me laugh out loud :D

  2. I'm so glad, Tess! Thanks for the comment! : )

  3. I can so relate. I just set one aside last night. Granted it was an adult book, but still, there was far too much telling, not enough showing and paragraph after paragraph of info-dumping.

    Have I been reading kid-lit too long? Have I become spoiled/jaded by tight writing?

  4. Oh, I don't think you can ever read too much kid-lit, but you know I type that with complete, unashamed bias. ; ) And as for becoming spoiled/jaded by tight writing. . . hurray for that! It's kind of great that the more we read, the more we appreciate good writing, don't you think?