Jasper Fforde: Attempt II. Sunday, Sep 30 2007 

I got the second Thurday Next book out of the library and only got as far as the beginning of chapter two. To be fair to the book I’ve developed into an profoundly choosy reader anyway, but there are two reasons I couldn’t go on.

The first was that the entire first chapter was a comic scene that didn’t contribute anything to the plot or develop anyone’s character or have anything interesting to say. I persevered with the Shakespeare Pantomime in the first book because it was halfway through the story so there was enough momentum built up already, but starting with a scene that doesn’t go anywhere is really just a false start. The entire scene could have reduced to a couple of paragraphs, been a lot more punchy and given all the same information.

The second was that everything in Jasper Fforde’s world has to be comically silly. It reminds me of this Boy on a Stick cartoon:


When everything is special, nothing is special… when everything is comic, nothing is comic. When someone puts on a pair of shoes, you don’t need to give the brand of shoes a silly name… sometimes a pair of shoes is just a pair of shoes.


Borderline pornography. Monday, Sep 24 2007 

I know what I’m going to be getting out of the library next.

Humbug. Friday, Sep 21 2007 

I’ve decided to submit my book to an agent to see if they pick it up. I can’t be bothered with the stress of submitting it to publishers myself, if someone who does that for a living can do that for me it’ll just make my life easier. And sending it to an agent and getting it rejected once is a lot easier than sending it to dozens of publishers and getting it rejected over and over again.

Eternal pessimist, I. All I can see when I look at the book is what I’ll do differently next time.

I know which one I’m hoping for. Thursday, Sep 20 2007 

“Looking at you, your book is going to be either really great or really awful.”

Thanks, Donald.

A writer’s work is never done. Wednesday, Sep 19 2007 

I’ve already made hundreds of changes since I called my book ‘finished’ last week. I think I should wait until it’s a physical sellable object before I call it ‘finished’.

Delusions of competence. Wednesday, Sep 19 2007 

I always assume that there are no errors in my work. When I do find an error, I assume it’s the last error, and that by fixing it I have now made my work totally error free.

Tuesday in the unforeseeable future. Thursday, Sep 6 2007 

I’m slightly miffed because I noticed that one of Jasper Fforde’s books starts with an illustration, and underneath that illustration is a quote taken from page 299 of the book. That’s precisely what I had in mind for my illustrations – taking quotes from the text and illustrating them. I did steal the idea from Homestar Runner but didn’t think anyone else had already done that in books. Except I was going to put the illustrations after the text.

Never mind. I’ll just try something slightly different then instead. I already have something in mind that I quite like.

I’ve been thinking about Jasper Fforde in general. It’s bewildering – he should be one of my favourite authors. I should be reserving all his books at the library and getting excited every time one comes in. In fact I should have read them already. So why would I rather read Moby Dick again than a new Jasper Fforde book? The weird, imaginative fantasy of Fforde seems like exactly the sort of thing I’d like. So why isn’t it?

Maybe the answer is that I just don’t care about Tuesday Next. Now I’ll have to think about why this is the case.