Blank Walls in Books

A wall should never be blank. In writing.


Obviously in real life, our eyes cast over the designs or aesthetic accidents without note, but if you're mentioning a wall in a book, it cannot be blank. That's not interesting. I'm in my basement now and my walls are 'blank' but really, they're unpainted drywall with spackling so thin I can see the seams. It gives a sense of an unfinished basement, and contrast it to the walls behind me that are painted with a backscratching texture and the floors tiled in a pattern my dad copied from the local mall but there aren't any materials freshly laid out—no, those are in the back covered in dust—and you get this sense that the basement should be finished. It could be something tragic like the dad working on this project died midway and some closure or at least acceptance comes when a related character: wife, son, daughter takes up the project, maybe leaving old cracked tiles as their reminder. That's plot. Or it could be something minor, no real reason it's finished, but laziness. Dad started, got halfway through, ran out of paint then mortar so some of the tiles were left with space for crumbs to fall in and he kept putting off the errand as the project had gotten boring or too hard and he started up another with fresh vigor. That's character. That's what happened in reality. But it could be tension building, foreshadowing the true struggle of home-owner because it's financially motivated. He couldn't afford more tiles. He'd gone over budget.


Even when a blank wall works because it's the important detail, not the sheen of the wall showing imperfections if you get at the right angle, but the fact that it's empty. It tells a story through negative space and subtext that someone has just moved in or hasn't felt like decorating due to the home being so often empty or due to depression or a search for self.


But this guy! He's got a castle that he wants to look regal and historic and gothic and he describes the outer walls as blank.


No lines on the sandstone marking the tide as seen on coastal castles.


No vertical streaks from hot tar poured on invaders to showcase the brutality of the ruler or the unrest in his population.


No slits for archers.


No disparity between bricks of the walls that have been repaired so the coloring is new like in Edinburgh where the older buildings are darkened because the yellow sandstone they built with had oil deposits that slowly rose to the surface.


It's like this writer has never seen a fucking castle before. A blank castle wall is not showing anything. And if this were his first draft, I'd understand but I've told him three times now with explanation and examples and I practically rewrote his entire book to be decent on a stylistic level, but he leaves the verbiage, two-dimensional bland characters, the cultural plagiarism of clichés and default language. It's laziness. And after months of my hard work, my pay is dependent on royalties so I'm a little annoyed, but even more annoyed because I'm a writer and forget the pedophilia, I find the bad writing most offensive.


I've put all this thought into every line he's written and how to improve it. I've put it into every line I write, every diction choice, every character and plot moment, and whether readers notice the motivation or not, the book is better for it. But he can't be bothered.


He's content with publishing for the sake of vanity.


It's masturbation and he wants everyone to watch.


His book is a dick pic.