One of my favorite authors, I won’t say which one, released a new book recently, and, of course, I had to get it. I have to say, though, that I was disappointed, not in the storyline, but in the writing itself. It was almost childish and nowhere near what I’ve come to expect.
I did a post a while back on the current mindset that books should be short, simple, and to the point. New writers are encouraged not to create complex plots with several characters, and they’re advised to keep their books quick to read. Personally, I think this mentality undermines the purpose behind reading, but what do I know?
Reading this book by this best-selling author got me thinking again about quality. If those who are best sellers and have editors and whatnot can toss together something that seems like editing, if it occurred at all, was only an after thought, what hope is there for the rest of us? I mean, I know my books aren’t best sellers. Heck, I doubt more than twenty people have read any of them, but I know that I try. I write, rewrite, revise, edit, edit again, get someone else to edit, and edit again. Then I usually start all over three or four times before I finally decide that maybe, just maybe, the story’s presentable. And then I’m likely to second guess myself to the point where I re-upload the file a gazillion times after making changes (which sends my email into spasms from where I get notified that the changes have been published).
With all this effort involved with very little return on the time (I know, that’s part of writing, and I do it because I love it), seeing those who enjoy best selling status, who have thousands or millions of fans, and who sell tons of books just toss out something a middle schooler could write better makes me wonder if we’ve fallen so far as readers that we don’t want or expect quality and effort. Have we dulled our imaginations to the point that falling into a good book and getting to know its world is impossible? Have we so much embraced the concept that no one has to put effort into anything to be successful that we no longer care about quality? I don’t know the answer to this, but I know that, while my books may not be perfect, the absolute best of my ability was put into them. And that’s all I can do.