There were a lot of wonderful comments on my post on Wednesday and I wanted to continue and discuss some of them. First was the idea that reading our childhood books as adults and as writers will change the way we see them.
Well, yes. And no. We have changed, and since we've changed,the way we view everything has changed. There are childhood books that we will view differently as writers and adults. But if the book was well written (someone mentioned the Black Stallion series) Then it can withstand the test of time and we will still be transported to that happy place. Regarding the author I mentioned, I wasn't disappointed because the book was different than the earlier ones, but because I could still go back to the early ones and see the craft, and skill it had taken to weave those stories. I still loved them and read them. Then with this new one she had done nothing more than vomit some words swirl them around then send it to the publisher. The complete lack of craft or caring is what disappointed me. More so because it was so different from her earlier works.
The other point that was brought up is that every author must carry some worry that their next book will be a disappointment and is it right for us to expect that every book will be better than the last? Should the author put pleasing her readers above all?
In a word, NO! I'm sorry if people thought that's what I was trying to say. I've read books where I felt the author was trying to throw in every situation the reader would dream of seeing and stringing them together with a very weak plot. Those books that try to please everyone generally end up pleasing no one. I believe that above all the writer must be true to the story. Yes, there is pressure on the author to keep up quality, to create a platform, and write in a certain genre so as not to alienate readers. It can be very stressful. But really a writer needs to write the story that is screaming to get out. And as long as the author is doing their best and writing what they believe they need to I can like or dislike their book without feeling disappointed. It's when they don't try that there are problems.
Hm, is this a little like when our parents would say, "I don't care what you do, just do your best and we'll be happy"?
Those are my thoughts. What do you think?