November 22, 2019, 07:06:33 PM

Author Topic: Shrug of the Author  (Read 789 times)

Offline Nighteyes

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Re: Shrug of the Author
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2019, 02:35:52 PM »
*shrug*

I doubt any writers plans to not finish. However once your series is out it doesn't belong to you anymore it belongs to the fans and I expect there is a lot of crippling anxiety about meeting readers' expectations.  And with the internet generation the reaction of fans has become so vehement when future entries in beloved sagas don't meet to their expectations. In recent years we have seen such over the top and very nasty reactions to recent series of Doctor Who, recent Star Wars films, the last two or three seasons of Game of Thrones ... not seen it so much in books but sure it has happened so I can understand why authors are taking longer and longer to release new books.
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Offline Magnus Hedén

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Re: Shrug of the Author
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2019, 05:23:49 PM »
I'm not sure where the idea comes from that a reader is in any way entitled to make demands on a writer.

The writer owns the creative work they've created. The reader owns their reaction to it. I've seen this discussion so many times and I'm yet to be convinced that isn't the end of it.

That means that a writer can do whatever the fuck they want, including spending 20 years writing a series, or not finishing it at all. But if they tell readers what they should think or how they should feel about their work (or lack thereof), they're overstepping. Because they don't own the readers' reactions. The readers do.

And the readers can be disappointed or upset about what happens in a book or about a book not being released, and they can express that (in a mature way). But if they make demands on the writer, they're overstepping. Because they don't own the creative work. The creator does.
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Offline Yora

Re: Shrug of the Author
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2019, 09:50:29 AM »
In the case of Star Wars, you got new creators trying to rest on someone elses laurels and putting out content that doesn't stand up to what they are copying, and which also is really underwhelming on its own merits. Of course you have people being assholes and acting completely unacceptible, but most people seem to see it as a poor immitation that wants to cash in on the goodwill for someone elses work.

I feel it's completely justified to say that Disney Star Wars is not Original Star Wars. Though the correct reaction is not to loudly complain, but to ignore it.
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Offline cupiscent

Re: Shrug of the Author
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2019, 10:15:35 AM »
This is getting sidetracked, but I just wanted to note that I really enjoy the Disney Star Wars and don't think they're any more full of holes, silliness and made-up-on-the-spot nonsense than Lucas pulled.

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Re: Shrug of the Author
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2019, 11:05:15 AM »
And the readers can be disappointed or upset about what happens in a book or about a book not being released, and they can express that (in a mature way).
I think we're all agreeing on this. I must have misread, but I don't think people were talking about making demands of an author, it's more about the tacit understanding of what is a full story.
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Offline Lanko

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Re: Shrug of the Author
« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2019, 02:19:15 PM »
Robin Hobb (and others) finished her 20+ year series, with 9 or 12 books, so it's not always a lost cause.
Interesting you mention Hobb, because for me she's the example of how long series should be tackled. Yes, she wanted an epic story of 16 books, but that was split into trilogies (and one set of 4), that can be read individually without 'harm' and with a sense that that particular story was finished.

Yes, from what I gathered you could have stopped at say, Farseer, and get the feeling a full story is done, but I mentioned her because she faced the same risks Yora mentioned about Martin and others: she could have gotten bored with it midways, with Fitz, the setting, the plot, etc... gotten sick, died, the "spark" could have left her, etc and leave the poor readers without an ending and frustrated by false promises... yet she done it.

And if even if she had not, would we rather never have read the other books because at some point she thought it would take too long and all those risks, and never bothered?

What if Lynch never bothered with Locke Lamora unless he was 100% sure he would deliver a book a year and actually have the whole series finished by now? Or if Rothfuss never bothered with Name of the Wind as well?

Even Lord of the Rings took a lifetime. Hobbit was published in 1937, and Tolkien started what would become LoTR at age 45. He even warned his publisher he was very slow, even abandoned it some times and only got it finished in 1949 (12 years later), and published in 1955, when he was 63.
By the standards of the time he could have died writing the first draft, lost the spark during those near 20 years, etc... just imagine it...

More recently with this we get Sanderson and his Stormlight, which by his own account on how he planned it, isn't gonna end before 2050. Yes, he's prolific, but so are Martin, Cook and others if one look at their list of works. Even if he doesn't, imagine if he (or anyone else) never bothered to take the risk to try for something of this magnitute, and you never get to read it at all.

So yeah, it sucks if they never finish it, and we get so focused on the ones that don't that we forget those who do, but again, imagine if we had never experienced those works. And it's not like during those hiatuses we can't/didn't read anything else, and more importantly, those could've been works that were inspired by the still unfinished work, like Game of Thrones clearly shows us.
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Offline Matthew

Re: Shrug of the Author
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2019, 04:02:43 PM »
The author has the right to take ages if they want, real life can get in the way For example I wish the Tales of the Kin was going to be finished but I understand the author can't go back to that world as it is tied so closely to major depression.

I personally don't understand peoples need for long running series, I read a quite a lot of urban fantasy and a lot of these just drag to the point where I lose all interest. Robin Hobb and Richard Kadrey have both done brilliantly having self contained arcs within a much longer running series and I love that approach.

The main objection I have to waiting, which doesn't happen a lot as I have learnt lessons and don't buy until they're finished (in the case of trilogies etc) is when the author appears to give up on it.

Books are not like movies, trilogies especially are envisioned as a beginning, middle, and end. To say that an author is entitled to just piss around and not finish it just because they feel like it is wrong. When they published they agreed to finish it, and just because it can be considered an art, does not mean it is not a job.

Imagine if you turned to your boss and said "I know I've signed a contract with your company, but I've done two-thirds of this paper and decided that I can't be bothered to finish it... yes yes, I know I promised it... I know I told you i was on the final edits, yes yes, I know I'm years overdue but I'm an ARTIST damn it, I don't have to answer to you."

You would be fired AND could be held in breach of contract. Even more so if you then added "but it's okay, have you seen this card game I've kickstarted? I'm going to show it off at one of the conventions I'm going to in work hours..."

Offline L. James Rice

Re: Shrug of the Author
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2019, 07:27:51 PM »
Yeah, writers have the right to not be speedy, and readers have the right to stop buying the books.

That said, I like a long series, and I do appreciate it when the series has an episodic feel... meaning that several books could be a "complete" story within a greater framework.
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