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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Way back before political correctness came along, television has often aired a lot of outdated WWII cartoons that served as propaganda to the support the war.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.”



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