Welcome to the place where I rant, rave and discuss books, writing, the town of Cobourg Ontario and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Writer's Humility

How many of you have read a book and thought “Wow, great story, but I could have written it SOOOO much better”? I know I have. It might actually be one of the pushes that made me want to become a writer.

On the other hand, I’ve also read books that were so completely amazing, that they encouraged me to believe, “I want to do THAT. I can do THAT.”

Right now, I’m reading a book that has me thinking “I will never be THAT good”. It’s almost depressing how wonderful this novel is. Strange isn’t it? The best I can hope for is to learn a little something from the amazing writing and story-weaving this author has accomplished.

If you haven’t read it yet, and you don’t mind feeling a little humility about your writing, check out Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.

There is also a movie based on the book, if anyone has seen the movie and read the book I’d love to know your take on how the movie measures up.

Have any other writers here read a book that shamed them a little?


  1. I've never read *Pillars of the Earth*, but I know what you mean about the "I can never do this" feeling. The Hunger Games series and the Uglies trilogy are a couple of examples -- every time I read them, they slap me in the face.

  2. I've heard so many good things about The Hunger Games - I've really got get my hands on them. Thanks for letting me not feel alone in this Jenna :)

  3. I do know what you mean about The Pillars of the Earth. What an amazing novel. It grabs you from the first page, and doesn't let go. More than one writer has felt what you described. Just a couple of things, though. The first is do not try to watch the TV movie - it's like they have dumbed it down so much that it does not resemble the book. And the second thing is that the sequels to The Pillars of the Earth, though pretty good, do not even come close to the original - not by any stretch. It is as though he had one truly inspired creation, but spent most of his gas in that one.

  4. Well if he was going to put it all in one book - he did an awesome job of it. I'm not finished the novel yet but I'm completely taken with it. Thank you VERY much for the heads up on the TV movie :)

  5. I feel a little intimidated now, perhaps it's better to finish my own novel before reading this one; when you just crawled out from under a block, there's no point diving right back under there...

    But it does sound interesting :) Thanks for the tip, Nina!