Okay… okay… I’m *not* going to get upset about this. I’ve already had a sort of whinge on Jade Pagoda and to be honest, when I read back my posts, I realised what an emotional fool I’d been.
Anyway, BestSeller – written by myself and Danny – was described as a “dismal start to the collection” in Doctor Who Magazine. That’s the third bad review of BestSeller, and unless Stephen King or Neil Gaiman review the story and tell me how great it is, I’m thinking that BS is just gonna be one of those stories that doesn’t do the job it sets out to do.
I’m fine with that. (Well, to be honest, I’m not fine with that… but I have to at least pretend to be fine with it). You know, when you start this whole writing lark you believe that you’re going to only produce gems. You’ve seen the mistakes other writers have made, you’ve read only the best sort of books, you’ve spoken to heaps of people about the craft of writing and you KNOW that everything you’ll write will be good. Not all of it will be brilliant, that’s asking for too much, but none of it will be bad. No-one will ever use the words “dismal”, “uneven” or “shoddy” to describe your work.
And then comes that first BAD review and you realise that (a) sometimes you will produce crap and (b) you need a real thick epidermis to survive the mud flinging.
I wrote BestSeller with Danny and I think we both agree that it’s nowhere near as good as our first outing together. As I said to one person about the story last night, you can see the invisible glue that sticks the scenes together.
I think there are some great moments in the story. I really like the image of the Doctor, perched on top of the TARDIS, telling a crowd a story. And I love the first riot, and I love our weird aliens. But I don’t think it comes together. I don’t think the Charley with the gun stuff rings true. And the resolution – including the last page – is, sorry to say, rubbish. (Danny and I knew what we were trying to do, and it really did seem like a cool idea at the time, but I don’t think we expressed it well).
But, BestSeller is a learning experience. The fact is people have liked my other work. People like the Past Tense story and my Benny’s get some nice things said about them. Oh, and there’s been a couple of really nice things being said about my MythMakers story. (Richard and Scott, the editors, were great to work with).
The thing is, I’m starting to grow that writer’s epidermis. Soon, bullets and knives will have no effect. My only weakness will be truffles…. Mmmmmmmmm truffles.