When A Book Makes You Feel Inadequate

I’m reading through the stack of books that my mom has given me to read over the last year or two. (Too many books, too little time!)

I’m 300 pages into the most recent book and I finally decided that it makes me feel like the worst, most untalented writer on the planet.

And the sad thing is that this book’s strengths are in areas that I will never excel at.  (I know, I know, never say never.)  But it’s true.

I’m impatient with detailed descriptions.  Writing them makes me itchy.  I want to get to the interaction between people not stop and think about what the moon looks like as my character looks out a window.

But this book shows me why, when an author gives care and attention to details like that, it makes for powerful writing.

The book in question is Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah.

(She’s also a former lawyer, so, in my estimation, a perfect counter-argument to the people who say that lawyers sometimes are too stiff and formal in their fiction writing.  Her prose is lyrical.)

Oh, and the plot is gripping and fascinating as well.  Then again, I have an odd soft spot for Russian stories.

If I ever write a book that someone compares to this one, I will be astonished and also very pleased.

(And, yes, I’m sure there are people out there who will disagree with my assessment, but that’s the beauty of fiction.  There are all types of stories for all types of readers.)

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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