So…I follow a few writing blogs, and I usually tend to follow some of the best. </boast> Upon reading a new post from a blog done by someone my age, was quite irritated (note the word quite).
Her complaints stem from authors becoming formulaic. She’s not the first person to make this observation, and she won’t be the last, but c’mon now…
Let’s let go of the notion that our books are our children, and let’s face it - as an English major, I know that you can pretty much accuse any author (or musician or sculptor or painter or mixed media guru) of being formulaic. It’s a tired (formulaic) complaint. I’d like to add on a further mean note that the authors she used for her examples could be seen as formulaic from the get-go (as in a genre in which you can get guidelines on a website on what page should the kiss/tragedy/big family moment should happen).
Published authors wish to earn money from their books (I could be wrong, please correct me), so they constantly have to cater not only to themselves, but primarily their audience. And it isn’t always the author that decides what gets edited and placed out there. Remember, there are other people in the process that can insist “Put something in that is reminiscent of your last book! People love these subtle allusions to other works!” or “Why is there no romance in here? You’re going to lose your teen female demographic!”
I just think that authors need a break here. They work incredibly hard and aren’t salaried. They’re dependent on their “babies” to feed them (unless they have additional day jobs, which is common as well), so why give them a hard time about what’s selling?
I’m also not trying to make the business of selling books to be a completely cold “I do this for the lovely cash, I use a tired plot, and I am unoriginal.” I know that an author will still have the “this is my child, er, latest book” mindset oftentimes, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just important for readers and writers to know that you have to let that baby go in order to make the book the best it can be, and that it’s hard to morph those few plots that exist to make them our own.
- dingotea posted this