Better Than This

She stood in the doorway.

It was a bit literal, but it was only a first draft after all.

She’d been in worse stories. Some even by this writer.

It was a bit sad really. At one time, when she first became fictional for him, she thought he had a future. He had a certain originality that she found intriguing.

It was not literary, which was a relief to her.

She’d been a character in literary fiction before and she couldn’t cope with it anymore. She’d also been a set of… what? Tropes, maybe? Or some other obscure lit-crit word where she had been a… presence in a story by a writer who did not believe in character.

That had not been fun.

Sales, of course had been terrible, which had only convinced the writer that he was a misunderstood literary genius.

She wondered what had happened to him. For a while, before he became too bitter and twisted, he’d reviewed the fiction by his more successful peers for a small run literary review. Then he’d disappeared from view.

After that, she’d turned her back on literary genre books and had a go at the books that actually sold. Books that people read not out of a sense of duty to some better ideal of themselves that the broadsheet literary mafia had conned them into thinking they ought to be.

She’d tried thrillers, but soon tired of all that running from the villain across open moors in the dark and pouring rain.

She was fed up with mud and sudden rivers that appeared out of nowhere.

She’d tried erotica for a while too. But billionaire surgeon entrepreneurs were not as interesting as the blurb would have the reader believe.

They just stood there, when not centre stage in the story, admiring themselves on the book cover. You’d think someone with all that money and a professional reputation to nurture would buy a shirt.

But there you were.

Romance was much the same, except that they kept their shirts on and you had that bit in the middle of the story when you thought you hated each other, but really….

Fantasy was interesting, those dragons ere not as one-dimensional as you’d think. Some of them had very interesting views, especially on the relative merits of currencies sticking to the gold standard. But the armour she had to wear always had a few errant sharp corners in places where no girl liked sharp corners… and swords were heavy and unwieldy. And what was the use of a magic system that couldn’t even conjure up a decent cup of tea?

Fantasy books were long too, by the end she was longing for order to be restored to the kingdom…but then it turned out to be a series. So For the next instalment, she’d have to struggle to get back into that armour after her celebratory cakes and ale… could armour shrink?

Really, she could do with something easy… a poet’s muse perhaps? All those long languid afternoons in a comfortable chair on a sunny summer day, sipping wine and staring off pensively into the distance. She ‘d have to find out what pensive meant, of course, but it would be better than this.



2 Replies to “Better Than This”

  1. They do take over, characters, don’t they? But I still win.

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