While shopping this morning, I picked up a copy of Christopher Pike's "Thirst," about a teenage vampire, and started leafing through it.
This didn't last very long. The first three pages consisted entirely of exposition--the most godawful, mind-numbing, speechifying exposition I have ever had the misfortune to read. I remember the protagonist complaining about her hair being like blonde silk, and the depressing experience of everyone taking her for an eighteen-year-old until she opened her mouth, when presumably all of her actual five thousand years of existence came tumbling out.
This is a published novel, mind you.
Good books, in my experience, start with a scene and dialogue. I'll never know if this one was good or not, because I promptly put it back (while muttering under my breath about "what terrible writing!"). It's also made me wary about ever glancing through anything by Christopher Pike again.
Until now, I don't think I've ever experienced an "I can do better than that!" moment. But I certainly did today.
Hell, I can do better than that in my frakking sleep.