Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

*Taps Microphone* Hello? Hello?

My name is Wendy and I'm literary rabble.

So, I've been reading other blogs and sites and I feel like a failure as a writer and a reader because I like consumer-friendly, pulp, lower brain processing fiction. I'm not talking Danielle Steel, but it seems like it's "cool" among writers and publishers to knock anything that gains a following among the common man.

I'll admit... I didn't like the last book in the Twilight series. In fact, I hated it. There was something there, though, in her series that tapped into a need, and I still find myself thinking the occassional WWSMD (What would Stephanie Meyer do?) when it comes to YA fiction. It was worth reading it just to see her deal with the line between adult and teenage audiences. (In my opinion, it's a tricky line.) The only book in the series that didn't meet my quota for "entertaining" was that last book. Plus, I hear sour grapes in the anger directed at Stephanie Meyer. Yes, she made a fortune off books that may not have been toe-to-toe with the giants of literature, but does that matter?

(Hypocritical aside here... I don't like my vampire books being compared with Stephanie Meyers, but that's just because I'm an idiot. If you write a book now about vampires, it'll be compared to Stephanie Meyers. Ten years ago, it was Interview with a Vampire. A century ago, it was Dracula. Like it or not... there will be comparisons. There will always be comparisons among books and writing styles. I just need to put my big girl panties on and deal with it.)

I saw a few people slamming Dan Brown's books too in my cyber travels. I'll admit that I never read or watched Davinci Code. I did read Angels and Demons, though, and I liked it. I really liked it. I thought it was well written but I wasn't reading it as a writer... and perhaps that's the difference.

On the other hand, "No 1 Ladies Detective Agency" bored me to tears. "Burning Bright" had the same effect. "She's come undone" sat unread on my bookshelves for a year before I finally gave up rather than gouge my eyes out trying to get into it. "Weight of Water" was one of the few book club reads that I just skim-read rather than put myself through the torture of it. In fact, I even read the books about torture in concentration camps with more gusto than that book.

I'm not a literary snob. I will never be a literary snob. I like to be entertained. I like to laugh. I like happy endings. I like easy answers sometimes. I'm not quite literary trailer trash, and I do enjoy some books that fall into the "literary" category. Plus, I don't appreciate happy endings that irritate my gag reflex, but still... some moderate hope held out at the end of the book is a requirement.

Anyway... I just wanted to get that off my chest. If I'm published, it will not be because I've stood on the shoulders of literary giants. (I'm more likely to stand on the shoulders literally of giants.) Maybe there is something wrong with me that I don't expect to leave my audience thinking for hours afterwards. I don't want to write the next great novel. I just want to entertain my audience. If they have to think about things while reading my book... well... they're most likely going to whine like a certain member of my family about nitpicky little things.

That's basically it. Just wanted to get that out there before I go toss back some sort of cold medicine.

Oh... and I should mention that on Saturday I'm participating in a 24 hour fiction writing contest. At 11 am PST, I get the topic information and number of words. I have 24 hours to hand in my story. It should be a lot of fun.

1 comment:

  1. This is the best post ever. Agreed agreed agreed!!!! (I'm not insane, I only used four exclamation points). My goodness, it's like you made a checklist of what I do and don't like in my books and wrote it out in an eloquent post for me to read. And you're so right about the anger at some of these forums... sometimes the sour grapes practically popped out of the screen and smacked me in the forehead.