Saturday, September 19, 2009 | |

Rant of the Week: Authors That Take a Long Time to Finish Stories- My Thoughts

Now, I'm probably half the age of some of my readers, and almost certainly half the brain power , but I've got a few points I'd like to share with you today. So, everyone sit down, form a nice circle (an oval will also be accepted) and listen up. It's story time.

There are currently no less than 5 or 6 series that I'm into that aren't finished. Now, I know that some of you will simply consider me a glutton for punishment, while others will mock the fact that I've only got that many going right now. But hear me out, because I've got three points that just might help you along the way.

1. Remember, a series is what it is. 

Some people will lose interest and never finish reading it. Some authors will lose interest, drive, passion, whatever you wanna call it, and never finish writing it. Authors are human beings. If you are a prick to them, do they not bleed? with a book, above all, you're paying for the escape; the chance to be somewhere else and read about something that interests and intrigues you. If you can't wait a couple of years in between books is a series, the second point might just help you out.

2. Please Read More Than One Series. 

I know a guy that got started with fantasy about fifteen years ago. He devoured everything that David Eddings ever wrote, and then moved on to Robert Jordan. Well, he's still reading Jordan, and in the 10 years that I've known the guy he's read the following authors: Eddings, Jordan. He's always bitching to friends about how long it's taking The Wheel of Time to get finished, and I have to just shake my head and wonder why this guy has never thought of trying to read something else.

If you're in the middle of a series and waiting for the next book, try reading something else. Who knows, you might find that while Patrick Rothfuss and Scott Lynch are pretty cool guys, Steven Erikson is really your cup of tea. Then you get to where Erikson's not done. What do you do? Find another book or series. There are literally hundreds of blogs that review new books every week. Hell, even I've got one, which I'll gratuitously pimp by linking it at the bottom. These places will give you a better idea of what's out there. Don't like the interwebs for your recommendations? Go to the book store and ask that slightly pudgy, goatee-wearing, latte-sipping dude behind the counter what he suggests.

I don't know where I read it, but I recall some blog somewhere saying that there are roughly 150 books a week published in the US. That means that there's almost surely something worth reading while you're waiting for Mr. Martin to finish his magnum opus.

3. If promises by authors piss you off, and blog posts about progress make you want to find a knife and a home address, stay away from where you might hear them. 

If you're a pretty severe case, and just can't get over a particular series you're waiting to get finished, I wouldn't recommend reading that author's blog or twitter posts anymore. You've got to remember that the internet is a relatively new means of communication, and people are inevitably going to shoot themselves in the foot now and again.

Blogs and tweets and facebook updates are awesome, and these technologies have let us see inside the machine of publishing like never before. But seeing the inner workings of the publishing industry is a double edged sword, people, and a mighty sharp one at that. It's sad to me that so many authors lately have had to go on the defensive about why their works of art are overdue. Rothfuss, Martin, Lynch and literally dozens of others have all chimed in in the past year or so on the topic. I think that says something about our society as a whole. The publishing industry is definitely NOT McDonalds. It's a wild mechanical creature, pieces of old and new technology all glued together somewhat haphazardly, and to say it's efficient would make most agents, editors and authors laugh their collective asses off. And there's nothing worse than going outside to get the morning paper and finding a pile of asses.

So, in summation, please please please have some patience. Don't misunderstand, I've been upset at authors before, too, and I'm still a little irritated at how long A Dance with Dragons is taking to get done. But I've found ways around it, and so can you. If, however, you insist on believing that authors can turn out thousand page books like McDonalds does cheeseburgers, then I guess you can just "Have it Your Way." No sweat off my back, dude.


qwadro_Binh said...
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