Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 240566 times)

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Olympia

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #900 on: May 08, 2013, 07:25:59 PM »
It's bad when a writer is tired of a series and has to keep writing it, but there are also the authors who think they're still writing good books, and honestly, they're not. I like mysteries, so my big example of this is Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swenson series. I haven't been able to bring myself to read the last couple of books, because the downhill slide had gotten so bad.

VorFemme

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #901 on: May 08, 2013, 08:38:20 PM »
The author of the Sookie Stackhouse books, Charlaine Harris, says she is done with Sookie and wants to go on with other things, but her fans are clamboring for more. (I don't remember where I read that in the past couple of days. I think I was just exploring one of the links from here, like the rest of a newspaper that had an article in it. I tend to get easily distracted.)

Because of your opinion of James Patterson, I'm inclined to think her fans should let Sookie retire for fear of future disappointment.


The "last book" is either due out soon or just came out (#13, for those who are counting).  I have it on reserve at the library - because I don't want to read it just yet (going to skim through the earlier books & refresh my memories of the details of a couple of things, first). 

Conan Doyle had the same issue with Sherlock Holmes......I'm sure other authors have had the same demand for "what happened next" before & since.  Just the smarter ones either don't tell you or wait for true inspiration instead of writing something half-baked.

I have noticed that there is a lot less true inspiration and a lot of half-baked drivel (or even 1/8 baked, at times - (cough) 50 Shades of anything (cough) comes to mind as a good example of some bad drivel, in my opinion - having read the synopsis ONLY) out there.
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andi

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #902 on: May 08, 2013, 09:03:45 PM »
I think I mentioned Witch and Wizard in this thread before. That was godawful and the guy who loaned it to me swore it was the best book he'd read, but he also said that about Eragon which was one of the few books I've started and not finished.

I'm having a really hardntime with the Eragon series as well - I think it's too "one sided" - I get bored

Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #903 on: May 08, 2013, 11:07:27 PM »
I'm convinced Patterson has a squad of writers in his basement churning out books. 

My understanding is that's basically the exact truth. I believe he's said he has a team of writers that he works with to come up with ideas. Then one of the lesser writers comes up with a first draft, and Patterson writes the final draft. I don't believe he's that involved, personally, but I don't read his stuff so my opinion doesn't count for much.

 :o :o :o but...but...it's not fun that way!

Yes. Why would you want to be an author if you don't actually do more than edit someone else's work?

This is not writing, this is an industrial production line.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Yes ... but still, one assumes he started as a writer because he enjoyed writing. And could still make, maybe, $$$$$$$$$$$$ if he did it all himself. AND end up with stuff he could say to himself, "This is *my* handiwork, and I am proud of it." I would suspect he's still working just as hard, on things that are not as satisfying, so he can make money to not have to work on something he enjoys. A strange vicious circle.
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Slartibartfast

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #904 on: May 08, 2013, 11:54:48 PM »
Actually, he's probably still doing the fun part - dreaming up the plot, scripting the basic storyline and character arcs, and figuring out how it ends.  The slog is actually writing the first draft  :P  I read an article a while back interviewing him - he prides himself on being able to write ANYWHERE.  Sitting at the airport, on the plane, waiting for an oil change, etc.  Speaking from experience, I know that while it's entirely possible to work in short bursts in those kinds of distracting environments, it's very difficult to be creative while doing so.  I can see him doing the second-round edits whenever he finds time, but I find it really hard to believe he can do first drafts that way.

Ereine

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #905 on: May 09, 2013, 12:58:24 AM »
I read some article on Patterson and got the impression that he was never really in it for the love of writing, he's just a genius at marketing (he was an advertising copy writer if I remember correctly and that requires the sort of talent that gives you a lot of new ideas). He also pays for the advertising himself and is involved in the whole product. It makes sort of sense if you approach books as a product or an advertising campaign. You won't waste your expensive copy writer's time on routine work when you could be using him to dream up new ideas.

zyrs

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #906 on: May 09, 2013, 09:55:32 AM »
I read some article on Patterson and got the impression that he was never really in it for the love of writing, he's just a genius at marketing (he was an advertising copy writer if I remember correctly and that requires the sort of talent that gives you a lot of new ideas). He also pays for the advertising himself and is involved in the whole product. It makes sort of sense if you approach books as a product or an advertising campaign. You won't waste your expensive copy writer's time on routine work when you could be using him to dream up new ideas.

I've never read any of the Patterson books.  I was warned once to never bother with a book if the author's name was in bigger print than the book title, and it's steered me well.

MariaE

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #907 on: May 09, 2013, 11:51:24 AM »
I read some article on Patterson and got the impression that he was never really in it for the love of writing, he's just a genius at marketing (he was an advertising copy writer if I remember correctly and that requires the sort of talent that gives you a lot of new ideas). He also pays for the advertising himself and is involved in the whole product. It makes sort of sense if you approach books as a product or an advertising campaign. You won't waste your expensive copy writer's time on routine work when you could be using him to dream up new ideas.

I've never read any of the Patterson books.  I was warned once to never bother with a book if the author's name was in bigger print than the book title, and it's steered me well.

That's an awesome piece of advice! I'll have to keep that in mind :) I'm sure there are exceptions, but it does seem like a good rule of thumb.

(... and now I'll of course have to go through all my books to check whether I own any exceptions to the rule ;) ).
 
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artk2002

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #908 on: May 09, 2013, 01:26:28 PM »
It's bad when a writer is tired of a series and has to keep writing it, but there are also the authors who think they're still writing good books, and honestly, they're not. I like mysteries, so my big example of this is Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swenson series. I haven't been able to bring myself to read the last couple of books, because the downhill slide had gotten so bad.

The problem is that they don't have to keep writing it. They can stop. Yes, they'll have to face the disappointment of their fans, but that's what comes with fame. Sadly, it sounds like Harris, Patterson, Fluke, Lackey and the rest are lacking in spines -- they're afraid of disappointing their fans and won't stop.

Adding some others to the mix: Lilian Jackson Braun, The Cat Who... series fell off rapidly after the first couple. Sue Grafton should have stopped at about 'D' -- when she went to a larger format (lack of editorial control, ala J.K.Rowling?) the stories got bad. She did well with a 200 page format, but either her ego or her fans/publishers demand made her go to bigger books and she just hasn't had good material to fill them out.

Bill Watterson and Gary Larson both quit at what could easily be described as the peak of their careers. Am I really sad that there is no more Calvin and Hobbes or Far Side? Darn tootin' I am, but I'm very happy that they stopped before the quality fell off. Think of all the TV series that stopped "too soon" and those that kept going past their prime. How many have "jumped the shark" in an effort to stay alive, when they really should have stopped and moved onto something new?

There's an adage in entertainment (an popular fiction certainly comes under this rubric): Always leave them wanting more.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Elfmama

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #909 on: May 09, 2013, 02:05:28 PM »
It's bad when a writer is tired of a series and has to keep writing it, but there are also the authors who think they're still writing good books, and honestly, they're not. I like mysteries, so my big example of this is Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swenson series. I haven't been able to bring myself to read the last couple of books, because the downhill slide had gotten so bad.

The problem is that they don't have to keep writing it. They can stop. Yes, they'll have to face the disappointment of their fans, but that's what comes with fame. Sadly, it sounds like Harris, Patterson, Fluke, Lackey and the rest are lacking in spines -- they're afraid of disappointing their fans and won't stop.

Adding some others to the mix: Lilian Jackson Braun, The Cat Who... series fell off rapidly after the first couple. Sue Grafton should have stopped at about 'D' -- when she went to a larger format (lack of editorial control, ala J.K.Rowling?) the stories got bad. She did well with a 200 page format, but either her ego or her fans/publishers demand made her go to bigger books and she just hasn't had good material to fill them out.
Jennifer Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilter's series did that with her last book.  It read like long synopses, in flashbacks from 25 years in the future.  A child born in the last book is now getting married, and her mother thinks about what has happened in the last 25 years.  "This beloved continuing character did X, other character did Y and her son did Z."  She had enough material there for several more books in the series, but for some reason chose not to write them.
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lady_disdain

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #910 on: May 09, 2013, 02:46:43 PM »
I do excuse Harris, at least on Hannibal Lecter. Apparently, the terms of the contract allowed the studio to hire another author to write more Hannibal books, so either he did it or had to watch someone else do it. Tough choice for an author. I wouldn't willingly hand over my creation either.

rose red

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #911 on: May 09, 2013, 03:02:44 PM »
The current discussion reminds me of another peeve.  When books continue to get cranked out after the real author passed away.  Perhaps the first few books were already mostly written, but when they still keep coming decades later... ::)

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #912 on: May 09, 2013, 03:42:27 PM »
It's bad when a writer is tired of a series and has to keep writing it, but there are also the authors who think they're still writing good books, and honestly, they're not. I like mysteries, so my big example of this is Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swenson series. I haven't been able to bring myself to read the last couple of books, because the downhill slide had gotten so bad.

The problem is that they don't have to keep writing it. They can stop. Yes, they'll have to face the disappointment of their fans, but that's what comes with fame. Sadly, it sounds like Harris, Patterson, Fluke, Lackey and the rest are lacking in spines -- they're afraid of disappointing their fans and won't stop.


Heehee...spines...that made me giggle considering we're discussing books pet peeves. :)
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Slartibartfast

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #913 on: May 09, 2013, 04:26:57 PM »
It's bad when a writer is tired of a series and has to keep writing it, but there are also the authors who think they're still writing good books, and honestly, they're not. I like mysteries, so my big example of this is Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swenson series. I haven't been able to bring myself to read the last couple of books, because the downhill slide had gotten so bad.

The problem is that they don't have to keep writing it. They can stop. Yes, they'll have to face the disappointment of their fans, but that's what comes with fame. Sadly, it sounds like Harris, Patterson, Fluke, Lackey and the rest are lacking in spines -- they're afraid of disappointing their fans and won't stop.


Author contracts are tricky things, and there are some pretty unethical, mind-bendingly evil things out there that publishers can do.  In particular, some contracts say any combination of the following:

1) the publisher gets the "right of first refusal" to the author's next book(s) (the author is not allowed to sell a book to anyone else until their current publisher says "yes" or "no" to it)

2) the publisher owns the copyrights on the character, setting, etc.

3) the publisher can cancel a series at any time, for any reason

4) the publisher owns the author's pseudonym

As you can imagine, the combinations of these can be really messy!  If an author has both #2 and #3 in their contract, the publisher can cancel their series halfway through and the author legally can't write any more books in that setting.  If you have #1 without sufficient limitations, the author is locked in - if they want to keep a career as an author, they have to keep writing whatever the publisher wants.  If they write something else, the publisher can just indefinitely refuse to say "yes" or "no" to it, and the author can't legally try to sell their books elsewhere.  If you combine that with #4, the author can't even leave for another publisher without having to start all over building a reader base.  (Yes, some of your more rabid readers will follow you to your new publisher with your new pseudonym, but most won't pay close enough attention to figure out what happened.)

Luckily, most publishers aren't too bad about this, and literary agents are there to ensure authors don't sign away their firstborn by mistake.  I can't be too hard on experienced authors who stick with a series long after the series has stopped being creative and fresh, though - sometimes they don't have a lot of options (other than a complete career change).

Mopsy428

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #914 on: May 09, 2013, 10:20:45 PM »
Quote

RE: names:  I really hate it when an author tries to include French characters but does not bother to research names.  So writers, take note:
1. there are no intracaps in French names.  It's not "DuPont", it's "Dupont" or, less likely, "Du Pont". 
2. Names like Yvette or Simone might look so daintily French but don't use them for a current French woman.  99% of French women with those names are in their 80s or older.  I hate to break it to you, but a young French woman is likely to be named Jennifer.
LOL! I love the name "Yvette", although it's out of fashion. I would love that name for a daughter, should I have one, but, alas, my fiance's last name is German and the combo sounds weird.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 11:50:58 AM by Mopsy428 »