Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Premature Fear of a Less Than Prolific "author"

The last book in the Sookie Stackhouse series (famous for being the basis for HBO's True Blood) came out about a week ago, and after reading several reviews, I'm no longer excited.

Now I know it may seem silly to judge based on other people's reviews, but a) it's kind of hard to ignore when a LOT of reviews point out the same issues and b) I honestly wasn't that wowed by the previous book.  Basically?  I don't think it's worth my time, and finding spoilers about how various storylines ended is easy enough.

Perhaps I sound harsh or even sheep-like (I mean, who lets other people's reviews dictate what she reads?), but the same issues that kept showing up in reviews were two very significant ones: The book seemed to ignore all the books prior to it and it seemed as if it had been written by a completely different person--a bland and uninspired one.  Honestly?  It sounds like a series reader's worst nightmare . . . as well as an author's.

Aside from all my standard fears about writing (No one will want to read what I write, I'm no where near as good as I think I am, all I'll ever see is rejection, etc., etc.), I'm also afraid of being a one-trick pony.  Let's say I finally get my shit in gear, get my supernatural romance written, and get it all shiny, and then (miracle of miracles) get it published.  Odds are, the publisher is going to want more; it's the nature of the beast, especially in that genre.

And I mean, why not?  Who doesn't want to read more about their favorite characters's adventures?  If we didn't have that inherent desire, there'd be no sequels, prequels, or series for anything.  (And then where would Hollywood be?)

My fear is that I only have the one story in me--the one book with those characters.  My fear is that I'd finally get a taste of success, only to be foiled by the limits of my own creativity.  My fear is that I'd be given the chance sooo many want (and several surely deserve) and wreck it.

How would I wreck it?  There are two roads ruin.  One: I just wouldn't be able to come up with something and I'd miss deadline after deadline and I'd get dropped and possibly have to pay back an advance and then have to live with myself and my failure at my dream for the rest of my days.  Two:  I wouldn't be able to come up with something, so instead I'd turn to tropes and cliches and become unrecognizable to anyone who loved my first book and a joke to everyone else and then have to live with myself and my utter disgust with what I had become for the rest of my days.

Is this fear a little premature?  A little presumptuous? A little arrogant? Duh.  How could a writer who hasn't even really STARTED her first book not come across as absolutely ridiculous by focusing on such a fear?  I may never even get the CHANCE to "let my fans down."  (Hell, I may never have fans TO let down!)  But reading those reviews about Charlaine Harris allowed my most ridiculous of speculative worries to rear its ugly head.

Oh noes!  I'll get published and then someone will want me to write another book.  THE HORROR!

Don't worry, I'll figure out a way to stuff my giant ego in the back of a brain closet for a while and focus on writing instead of fearing what will become of me after I "make it."

And yes, I know I sound like a hot 18-year old with a fresh boob job on her way to LA.  Try to resist the siren song of schadenfreude when a year from now I still haven't written dick for my own book but I spend all my time berating and bemoaning the works of other via some sort of editorial position.

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