A splendid email today, that proves that sometimes the most interesting writing opportunities come to you through the least direct route. It will be a while before contracts are signed and the deal is properly done, and some work for me before it gets to that point, but it was a fabulous start to the day. Apart from everything else, it’s another step away from the excruciating dry spell I’ve had on the publishing front. Suddenly, I’m looking at two pieces of my fiction appearing in the next year or so, a 100% improvement on one, and it feels very good indeed.
In other news, I’ve finally decided to read The Da Vinci Code. I have put it off for months, but finally bowed before public pressure.
Dear… God… In… Heaven… what the hell were you people thinking of?
Don’t get me wrong, the core concept and mystery is compelling enough, but the writing (and I do mean at the most basic, building block level)? The characterisation? The misrepresentation of sloppy research as fact (Amon Isis? Come on, people!). The unlikely feats the plot rests on (when you’re seventy-eight, take a bullet in the stomach, and have fifteen minutes to live, that does not translate as having fifteen minutes to nip around a wing of one of the world’s largest museums at a sprightly pace splashing invisible graffiti around, stripping, and arranging yourself in an unlikely death pose that will only make sense to two people in the whole world – it means you lie where you are, flop about a bit in serious agony, and then just bloody well die). It is things like this that make The Da Vinci Code a bad story, whether the central conceit is interesting or not, and shows tremendous disrespect for the intelligence of the reader.
Don’t even get me started on the public fuss in certain mentally deficient areas of society about the controversy and sacrilege of the story. Even if it didn’t say ‘fiction’ on the spine, such clearly signposted absurdities should make it impossible for anybody to take seriously.
And I’m not even a third of the way through yet. I’m trying to read it as fast as I possibly can because this kind of mental self-harm should only be sustained for very short periods of time…
Kirsty warned me. She tried her best. In true South Park tradition, I should’ve listened!