A few nights ago I had the most unforgettable reading session in the internet. After signing out of my Yahoo Mail account, I came across an article from Yahoo Philippines titled “The ‘ever after’ of Samantha Sotto’s hit novel” written by Ces Rodriguez. It’s about the story of Samantha Sotto a Filipina writers whose first novel was published by Random House publication – a really inspiring new to hear for budding Filipino writers. But what should have been a glorious starrer feature for Mrs. Sotto has been eclipsed by the notoriety of the way the article was written.
[click here to read the full article]
After reading I was wounded, perplexed and pondering “Whoa what was that?” I was confused reading it. I don’t know if my reading comprehension is really that slow to catch up but come on I’ve been a wide reader and a writer for seven years now. Practically this is the first time I ever complained or raised an eyebrow over an article. So below are some of the points I want to address and hopefully I will not emerge my writing style over these:
- The statement, “Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you must know by now of Samantha Sotto,” gave people the cruellest idea to criticize the entire article. It is the atomic bomb that offended the slightest sensitivity of the readers. Not every people love to read books, even booklovers like me doesn’t even know Mrs. Sotto. Call it an elitist remark or a really bad case of starting a paragraph but people don’t like hearing assumptions like that in introducing people unless we’re talking about Shamcey Supsup, Kobe Bryant, Manny Pacquiao or Oprah. Hiding under a rock, come on!
- Too Flowery. I’m not much of a writer but I know about KISS (Keep it short and simple) when writing features. The author of the article should have complied closely to the last S. Her word selections especially to the adjectives are so flowery that they tend to make no sense at all, worse it misled readers. For example “the 38-year old ‘bus driver’ of a mom”, I really thought Mrs. Sotto is a bus driver, ah what? Where can you find a female bus driver who sends his son in Ateneo and drinks in Starbucks to write a novel ala J.K. Rowling?
- Inconsistency. The article I realized during my second read suffers inconsistency and focus on the purpose of what it is trying to tell people. Ok, the article was to inform people that there is talented Filipina who wrote a novel that got published by an American publisher. Great news isn’t? But instead of entering the detailed part of how her book caught the attention of the publisher, how the book is faring in the market, and giving sales figures or some yummy reviews from critics, the author tells the readers that the paperbacks editions are simultaneously released with the hard covers. I mean who cares about covers anyway? A book’s success is determined not by its format but by how many copies was sold, the impression it creates to the readers (or perhaps a film adaptation). And suddenly she’s talking about the second book when we are not even formally/thoroughly introduced to the first one.
I read the comments below the article and to my relief I am not the only who are living under a rock. There were negative comments, a lot. But lines were drawn because if there are people giving harsh remarks, there were also people who appreciated and defended the article. For a time I thought I was reading a war on twitter with both sides having there points. I found it entertaining reading through the previous comments. So I also left a remark before going to bed.
Even that comment wasn’t spared from criticizing.
But let us not degrade the success of our very own Samantha Sotto for her achievements just because of one ill-fated article. Let’s look at the bright side, a Filipino writer making her way into the glorious mainstream of writing and we should all congratulate her for that. The article is still an inspiring one that reminds us how good a Filipino can be and inspiring young writers to pursue their dreams.
And for Miss Ces Rodriguez I am not calling you a bad writer nor condemning your article for a job well panned. Hey you got some balls, you have your style, and to hell with those negative comments, but I really hope you would be considerate to your readers because they’ll be the one judging your success as a writer.
- Before Ever After (kikiandlalaland.wordpress.com)
- Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto (jaseusebio.com)
- Samantha Sotto – Before Ever After (fyreflybooks.wordpress.com)