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Cut the Crap, Mr. Sap!

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Now that I have had a chance to glance at another a novel, watch a banned cartoon, and give input for another self-published author, I managed to find another problem in writing which finds its way into the book without anyone spotting it easily. Of course if you were to find these problems easily, I would not need to point out the mistakes; they would come out naturally. Unfortunately, that does not happen easily, hence the reason for this post.

But first, let’s look to pop-eye.

Way back before political correctness came along, television has often aired a lot of outdated WWII cartoons that served as propaganda to the support the war. In this case, the cartoon titled ‘You’re a Sap, Mr. Jap’ featured the ever so famous sailor ‘pop-eye’ encountering a group of enemies who pull his emotional strings while posing as phony friends. Ultimately, the main character realizes he’s being had and ultimately takes out a Japanese war ship.

If there was a connection I can make between the cartoons I watched online and the advice I had to give with the self-published author, it was this: cut the crap. Out of the multiple titles I read by self-published authors, I managed to have met a series of them using the emotions to make the book sound good. I remembered this lesson well after turning in my first story for creative writing. Apparently when the paper returned, the remembered only seeing two things: a poor grade and a lengthy remark about not writing sappy stories.

I could imagine how many authors would turn away infuriated by her remarks.

The same should be said when someone introduces too much melodrama in the book. When I reached the end of the first chapter, I noticed the book entered the reader into the moment of shock. As I glanced throughout the book to see what else would happen as a storyline, I began to notice a bigger problem: the author left out too much information. In a way I could understand the author’s feelings for trying to touch the hearts of his or her audiences, but in another way I felt like the author used this emotionalism to cheat me in hopes of getting the reader to gloss over the mistakes.

If there was some practical advice I would give to every author out there, I would say this:

“Sappiness is no excuse to deliver a storyline filled with holes of redundancy, shallowness, and flat character. If you want the reader to like the book, then you need to take these elements into consideration as well.”

Parker

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