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Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Random

Random Quote of the Week: From my friend on rough drafts.... "It's terrible, and badly-planned, and lame, and stupid, and oh FROG I HATE it!!!"

Random Writing Site of the Week: From another friend who thought I needed a laugh. But the site was actually fun and had my mind spinning off with new ideas. SHINY! 911 Writer's Block. Know it. Love it. Have fun!

Random Fun of the Week: Making fun of cheesy book covers. Not for the feint of heart, those at work, or people known to blush at the drop of a.... penny.

Random Question of the Week: Are you in love with the author, or just the character?

Something I've noticed while organizing my horde of paperback novels is that for some authors, I own everything they have ever written. But for others, I only own a series or a few books and their other works just haven't captured my attention.

I was a bit puzzled by this. I mean, I LOVE Anne Bishop's Ephemera series. But I couldn't even finish the first book of Pillar's of the World. I read the original Dark Jewels trilogy, but haven't bought any of the follow-up books. On the other hand, I own everything Terry Pratchett has put in print, including a cookbook and Good Omens with Neil Gaimen.

What gives?

And then I realized.... I love Anne Bishop's characters, but not always her writing style. I read one of her short stories back-to-back with Belladonna, and WOW!, what a difference. You can barely tell the books come from the same author. Now, I know author's sometimes are rushed, and short stories don't develop as well as novels, but yikes!

Pratchett, however, is consistently funny. His early books are a bit wobbly (I'd start Discworld with Guards, Guards, but that's just me), but I know I can pick up anything he's published in the last decade or two and it will be a good, solid, book.

Looking through the rest of my collection I see the same trend. Some authors I just love. I lvoe the way they write. I love the worlds they create. I love their imagination and where ever they go I will willingly follow. Other authors are good, but what I really love is their characters. I love Nyls Jessan, Ariyln Moonblade, and Lucivar Yaslana, but I'm not so slavishly devoted to their creators that I will buy every Mageworld's book, every Elaine Cunningham novel, or the rest of the Dark Jewels books (now pushing seven ).

What kind of reader are you? Are their authors that you'll buy every book with their name on it? Or are you picky enough that you read the first chapter in the store to make sure the book makes the cut?

And, for the writers out there, what kind of author do you want to be? Do you want readers who love you, or your characters?


  1. Love the post! I know who quoted that.

    Umm, both. There are some authors I do just love the characters. Others, I would love to own all their books. Some I do (the ones which don't have that many books). :D

    I want people to lvoe me. But, given the violence in a few of my books, I realise that I'm writing quite different works and not everyone will like them. My future agent probably won't be fond of me for wanting to write fantasy, sci-fi and mainstream with religion thrown in :) But It just makes me more unique, right?

  2. I want writers to love me, I suppose, not just my characters. Although I'll take either one if it means I'm published and in people's hands. :)

    I love you-know-who's quote. That might just stick ...

  3. I'm definitely a mix of both--I mean, I love Lovecraft as an author, and Vivian Vande Velde as well. I could probably slip Philip K. Dick in there somewhere though I've not read all his stuff. Lovecraft for his writing, Vande Velde for her storytelling, Dick for his ideas and stories.

    I'm fairly sure everything else, so far, is character or world based. I love Jim Butcher's Dresden Files but couldn't get into his Codex series (yet)... and Simon R. Green has one of the most fun worlds (the Nightside) I've seen in urban fantasy/horror so far, but I only like a selection of minor characters and his writing style annoys me at times.


    As an author, I completely want it to be about the characters--or world, or whatever. I really hate people fixating on me--I'm much more comfortable if they're focused on what I do, write, etc. :P

    Besides, I write in a variety of genres, and I know everything will not appeal to all audiences. (People who like the urban fantasy may not be into the dystopian SF; the high fantasy readers may not touch the horror, etc.) My beta readers are perfect examples; they all like different stuff and that's awesome.

    I suppose I'd get used to it if people loved me as an author, but I'd much rather they get attatched to the stories/characters instead. ;)

    Good post, Lei, very thought provoking.


  4. Both, of course! *Fingers crossed*

  5. %-) Gwa. Much fun quote, indeed. *feels special*

    Hmm, depends on the author. Pratchett I'll buy because it's him. Most every one else though I'll read the first page or two.

    As for me, ideally I'd love people to be buying my books simply because they're mine, and have my name on them - which means I'm working towards creating consistency in my work, and putting something of myself into it all so that readers /have/ something in all my books to latch onto, that they can recognise as mine.

    In reality, I suspect I'll end up with a few differently styled groups of work, and if the readers of those don't cross over *shrug* well, it doesn't matter so long as people are buying the books %-) :D