I recently read an article by about writing fast—a book every two weeks. And I have to admit to a sense of…utter disbelief…and it really got my panties in a bunch.
I do not normally talk trash about other authors (and in the current publishing climate this is truly becoming harder and harder to do…), let alone without reading their work, but I have to admit to having a huge element of doubt as to the “density” of prose, especially when I read a published article by said author that had a period placed outside the end-quotes in a sentence (e.g., “…the ‘thing’.”), and don’t even get me started on the platform that allowed that to be published, which is supposed to be some Big Time company. I mean…nothing personal, but I’ve never heard of this person. Sure, I’m not all that well read, and sure, I’ll now have to look up this person’s work, but I just can’t fathom a continuous effort where books are written in only two weeks and are actually any kind of “good,” I don’t care who that author is (well, maybe Stephen King)….
Fast forward a couple of minutes: I just now sampled one of this person’s most-recent works on Amazon. I rest my case.
Just reading the Prologue was brutal—nothing but short, choppy sentences. Later on, mixed sentence structure was employed, but then I immediately noticed a few places where commas were missing. And the story just didn’t interest me and seemed rather basic. Tired. Clichéd. Same Ol’.
No, I’m not going to mention the author, but my point is I don’t believe most authors (i.e., 99.99%) can do even a good job in two weeks and keep that paced indefinitely, and, frankly, I’m getting tired of hearing about it. Tired of said modus operandi (M.O.) constantly being promoted. And also frankly I’m getting tired hearing about how fans want books every two weeks and how we’re supposed to utterly cater to them. That writing 26 books a year is the new normal.
What the hell is the matter with you people?
I will say, however, that any author who can come up with that many solid novel ideas is pretty creative. Yes, that is incredible you have that many novels in your head. Now…take the time to properly develop them!
A couples of things:
- I looked for the publisher, found the name, and searched for it. Couldn’t find it, so it’s self-published.
- The article did not say how long of a pace this writer was keeping this up at, doing a novel in two weeks. Was this only a six months effort? Two? In fact the article promoting this individual should have mentioned how long this author had been doing it, but conveniently left that out.
- The author didn’t say anything new about the writing process. It was all basic writing M.O.
- This again proves my point that most readers don’t give a crap as to how well-written a book is.
- Having said #4, doing this really dilutes the curated word. Sure, the well-written word is appreciated in certain circles, but I maintain that it largely goes unnoticed by the Common Reader, or they just don’t care (this does not mean I feel books should be published in such a poor, unedited state!).
- [If everyone did this it would] Totally saturate the market—and not in a good way.
- Why the hell is everyone in such a goddamned hurry?
I blame the Internet.
I’ve said this before. I blame smartphones and the Internet for short attention spans and for the perceived need to have everything NOW.
And I will add to this that I blame publishing’s Bean Counters for forcing the perceived need to cater to the perceived need to write 26 novels a year.
And I used to think two novels a year excessive!
So here I ask all of you…readers and writers: GET A LIFE.
No one needs to write 26 books a year.
Get your faces out of your hand-held computers and do something else. Go outside! Life was not meant to be lived on computer screens!
Okay, point taken, that was my humble opinion.
I love it that there are voracious readers out there, and dedicated, highly creative writers, but you will kill yourself indefinitely writing at that pace (if you can even do it), which will include such things as carpal tunnel syndrome, bad backs, weight gain, metabolic issues, and eye problems, since nearly all of us use computers, and staring into these screens is not good for anyone (hint: there are computer glasses out there you really need to buy).
I don’t care how studly and hot you are now in the gym…if you’re sitting that much and writing that much, you’re not doing anything else. Like standing…or carrying on meaningful relationships with people…engaging life in general…or developing a personality. With all that writing comes all the other things: packaging, publishing, and promoting, because I can pretty much bet that your work is not being picked up at traditional houses. Nothing gets done in two weeks at traditional houses. Yes, I’m being sarcastic. Read my point, not so much my words.
I used to kinda be that way. Every free waking moment working on a manuscript. In my “cave.” Sure, I was productive, but it got me nowhere. I don’t do that anymore.
Readers…stop demanding this of us! Chill!
Sure, it’s flattering that you love our work, but go do something else and practice some personal restraint. Practice some Away Time from your screens. There are so many freaking authors out there now, read someone else. Don’t drive authors to carpal tunnel surgery! Don’t drive them to drink, depression, or frustration, because they can’t make real or perceived unrealistic deadlines!
Bean Counters: BE REASONABLE.
Stop being greedy!
Everything is NOT about money or the Bottom Line. No, it’s not. Even in business. Creating a good business model is about delivering a kick-ass product and/or service. You do that, the money will come. How about developing a better strategy to deal with the current New Normal in publishing, whether it’s Amazon or anyone else, which would better benefit the world and not send writers to doctors? How about going back to curating a well-written word, and not just publishing something you know will sell, which is poorly written, poorly constructed? Something that is not like everything else already out there? Just because something is being asked for does not mean it has to be delivered. And if I really have to explain that, good freaking LORD, where the hell IS that moon-sized meteoroid?!
Writers: DON’T ENABLE STUPID THINKING.
Do not enable greed.
Do not fall into this ludicrous trap.
And, please, please, if you’re gonna writing anything, give it the due diligence it deserves and take your time! Properly develop that story! Properly edit your story! Work your stories over until they positively radiate (you were expecting “shine” weren’t you? See? Don’t do the expected…)!
You’re writers, for crying out loud…supposed to use that noggin better than the average bear. THINK about what it is you’re doing. Step back and look at what you think are the words of God. I want to see these 26-books-a-year writers in five years. I mean, not really, because I’m sure they’ll be spent and have more physical (and possibly psychological) problems…but even if not…I just can’t believe that the output-content would be anything but less-than stellar. I don’t believe it can be maintained—and I mean GOOD storytelling at 40-80,000+ words a clip.
Don’t be in such a hurry.
Before you know it you’ll be my age and wonder where your life had gone.
Enjoy your life…stop trying to blast through it.
Thank you for your time and attention.