I’m a member on a young adult fantasy group on Facebook for readers. Us Authors are sneaky like that, yes, we like to read what readers think about books. Although I will say I started questioning why I even keep writing after the last post from a reader as she
bashed the author and started complaining about a series of books this “best selling” author had written.
Did I mention “best selling” author?
First off, as a writer this pissed me off. That reader doesn’t know the author personally. Yet she lunged out at the author as if this writer had done some horrible thing in life and inconvenienced her. All this reader complained about is she knows she was sick to death of this “best selling” author continuing to write in the same series of the same genre over and over and that obviously this author had nothing better to write or couldn’t write anything else.
What? The hell? Is wrong with you reader?!
Agatha Christie wrote murder mystery after murder mystery after murder mystery. The queen of crime kept writing stories where her passion was, and she excelled at it. “Oh, so sorry Agatha could you have written romance too? I mean, after all I grew so tired of your constant murder mysteries and that annoying detective who knew everything.” Give me a break!
I bit my tongue, and stepped away from the computer. When I went back later the
comments and negative posts more than outweighed the good and I questioned why readers are worthy of an authors blood, sweat and tears and years of work.
No reader, you aren’t worth that authors blood, sweat and tears.
In fact, you and all your friends negative comments on that hideous Facebook post is not only asinine but shows true authors how ignorant readers can be.
And then it dawned on me.
This best selling author is doing what she loves. She is making millions! She is obviously good at what she does or she wouldn’t be selling this series like hotcakes. She has five star reviews and reviews that aren’t so hot. Can’t please every freaking human on the planet, now can we?
The fact this writer can even do what she loves and is good at it makes readers like that who make those comments look stupid. So you know what, I went and bought that series of books. I’m going to read her books and enjoy every damn second of them! I am happy I can support a hard working author who is bringing literature and great stories to the world.
It’s so easy to complain about things. Books, jobs, men and neighbors. Maybe you complain about your girlfriend spending all your money. Who the hell knows. All I know is that writing a book is hard work. People get offended at the drop of a hat anymore and literature is taking brutal beatings. It pisses me off. Literature means something. It has
power. It brings a sense of wonder and knowledge in the form of words that help humans, encourages people, makes us laugh and cry.
After reading that persons negative, hateful post about the author and her “award winning” book series I realized that reader didn’t know what the hell she was talking about. The same group brags about getting books for free. So you getting an authors hard earned blood, sweat and tears for free and than bitching about the author and the book. How nice of you.
If you reader want to bash authors and complain about books, first do this:
- Write a novel outline. Let me explain: You gonna sit down (or stand for all I freaking care) and have a box of pens and several spiral bound notebooks. Let’s think about this for a moment. In order to even write a novel outline, you must have a creative idea to turn your thoughts into a story. See, even the fact that writers can take a single thought and transform them into a story outline is pure genius. All you can do is bitch and moan about an author writing the same series over and over, blah, blah, now you sit down and write a story line. Don’t forget to outline each chapter explaining your character development (can you even come up with characters and multiple personalities?) Don’t forget your outline needs to show a conflict to be overcome, lessons learned, character development, world building (or making up your own) and the climax where good defeats evil or vise versa. Oh, and don’t forget about the weird shit to keep readers captivated. That shit goes all through the book, you know.
- Start writing your story on a MS word doc formatted for publication. Don’t forget your headers, chapter spacing, numbering the pages, etc.
- Oh, I forgot. Research. Research, research, study. Whatever it is you are writing about you must know something about it. Using weapons? Better research the best ones and what they look like so you can even describe them. Not to mention the world building research involved in fantasy and Science Fiction, now that is real work. Castles, mountainous landscapes, dragons, spaceships, etc. Hours and hours of endless reading, writing, printing off info and googling shit to grasp a concept of what you even want to try to describe in your book. And then having the mental capacity to comprehend what you are studying and stewing on it long enough to turn it into an epic battle scene or some awesome story line.
- Then spend the next few months (or years) writing your novel.
- Edit the manuscript like a ruthless midwife delivering ogres.
- Then send it to beta readers or an editor who then finish brutalizing your work to make it readable, printable and loveable. Like a cushy little puffy unicorn baby with pink cheeks.
When you get done with all of this (and there is way more by the way), you have spent months, or years writing a piece of literature. And you haven’t gotten paid for those hours. Those nights of lost sleep. Those days off researching what you are writing about. No, you are writing because there is a passion ingrained deep into your soul screaming: WRITE or DIE! so you do.
Every single thing about being a writer is work. It’s a business. At the back of an authors mind is: “What will the readers think?” “I don’t know if I am ready to publish this yet, I’m not ready for the world to read this.”
But we do keep writing, and we do keep publishing.
Authors should be writing for themselves. Authors: write for yourself. Do not stop writing, because it is your emotional outlet. It is good for your mind. It’s a release from the pressures of this vile world. It teaches us things, helps us increase our knowledge.
Even if readers don’t get it. Writers should keep writing. Some of the greatest authors were never recognized for the prolific writers they were until years after they died. There will always be nay sayers. Complainers. Hateful author bashing bullies.
But literature will always be a powerful outlet for the writers who have the balls to do it. So keep writing as if the world doesn’t exist, and keep writing as if readers will never experience your work. Just don’t give up.