1. carsun1000
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    carsun1000 Active Member

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    the state of fiction writing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by carsun1000, Sep 23, 2011.

    I just tried to finish reading John Grisham's The confession (2010) but I got to a point where I was having issues with the stereotyping and other things the novel focused on. So I decided to read the reviews online at Amazon on this novel. The general consensus of reviewers was two stars at the most on this and his other works of late. Then it got me thinking, if fiction giants like john Grisham and james patterson cannot satsify the public, where do we stand? I know we all still have a chance to survive in this very demanding world.

    My question is what are you bringing to the table to survive? it is your story? you writing style? or just pure luck?
    For me I am going with luck even though I think I have good stories to tell.
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I wouldn't worry so much about John Grisham's books sucking. I feel the same way about a lot of Stephen King's work. A few of his books are real gems, but a lot of the others....meh, not so much.

    I think one possibility is that once an author reaches a certain level, then past that point, their fans will buy any book they buy and they're in Can't Go Wrong Land. Therefore, it's easier for them to do half-ass effort -- or just feel rushed due to pressure -- and produce something crappy.

    Only worry about the quality of your own writing. Writing style is important, but so is having an intruiging story that people will want to read.
     
  3. Croga
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    Croga Member

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    End of the day authors are people. If an actor becomes disillusioned or a director makes spin offs and sequels for the money his work is poor, but the classics are still written from the heart. Mentioning Grisham his Time to kill comes to mind as being one of his best while the later books like The chamber like satisfactory developments and Character story arcs are not relating to the over all conflict and so on for so on, but it does not detract the book he wrote in the first place. the message when giants of the creative industry fail is learn from them and never do anything that is not absorbing you for it to be written.
     
  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Basically, no one is perfect. No one is God. I've read books from favorite authors that really tanked. Then their next book is right back up there again. I started reading a series from another author who is widely regarded as one of The Best in his genre - and I couldn't believe how really technically bad the writing was. Have no desire to buy the rest of the series. And yet, I have read other of his books and they are great both technically and in the story-telling. Maybe they're in a slump, maybe they get caught in a tangent, maybe they (and their publisher) just made a misstep. It's a bit reassuring in a way - cuts back on the perfectionist tendencies I have.
     
  5. CULLEN DORN
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    CULLEN DORN Member

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    Never use another writer's success or lack thereof as a guide to your writing.
    Perhaps the public is tired of John Grisham's storytelling or style of writing, and
    pines away for another star awaiting discovery in the galaxies of writers. I wouldn't
    worry about them. Maybe the public is waiting for you to shine.
    ;)
     
  6. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    It's likely that these 'fiction giants' are held to a contract. They have to write something, even if they are uninspired to write anything. So they take a stale topic and write a stale book with stale characters, a stale plot, and a stale setting. Some people have a taste for stale books, others do not.

    Every now and again they will stumble upon a gold and write a great book. It takes a great self-discipline to stay inspired.

    Be optimistic. If you're in solely it for the money, you're doing it wrong.
     
  7. Cordoma
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    Cordoma Member

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    Cullen Dorn, I like you. I really do. And your words ring true. They really do. But for the love of god, man, whenever I see that roundish bold font on my computer screen I feel the sudden urge to grab you by the neck and slap you around a bit, screaming "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING, MAN???"

    My EYES... *.*

    (or, right, on topic: Fiction will always be around. Josh Grisham, not so much. ;))
     
  8. CMacgregor93
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    CMacgregor93 Member

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    I think the state of fiction writing and books in general is very healthy. I just think that new talent is evolved over time.
     
  9. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Some writers only have one good book in them. Harper Lee, as far as I know, only ever wrote "To Kill a Mockingbird". Allan Drury wrote one excellent novel ("Advise and Consent") and then nothing but dreck ever after. Not every writer who writes a lot writes well (many don't, in my view).
     
  10. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    :) Very true. Same with music. Look at the ratio of good songs compared to all songs that they've made. I wonder why they keep writing after the flops. It's like they're banking on one big comeback or something.
     
  11. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^^^These! I think it is true for many writers of that caliber; once they (think they) find some kind of formula to success they slowly stop putting as much time and effort and thinking to their writing as they did in the beginning of their career.

    For upcoming writers it's a good thing, it means someone with a fresh mind on writing have a chance to challenge them, and that will make them either disappear or start fighting to maintain their position, which hopefully improves their writing too. at least that is how I see it. you can never fall back on old merits if you want to stay at the top in a business where there are always people ready to take your place.

    To answer your question, I think I have a new approach to an old theme as the one im writing about, a new style of writing it, new aspects of it and interesting stories that doesn't look like "everything else", If im lucky that will be appreciated, but that is still to be discovered.
     
  12. CULLEN DORN
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    CULLEN DORN Member

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    Cordoma, I like your 'likes' too, as well as your humor.
    However, it is an unstable pitbull you'd want to 'slap around.'
    ;)

    P.S. On second thought ... perhaps you're right the more I think about it.
    So it is the normal font for me to use. (I really had to think about that for a moment or two).
     
  13. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    Strangely, the thing that got my work noticed was not caring about things like this. As soon as I stopped caring whether or not an invisible reader would give my work a chance, and instead began to write purely for myself, that was when others decided they liked the sound of what I was producing and tuned into my little bubble. I've been told my pros are writing style, realistic characters and the humour used - but I'm not funny so I don't know how that happened.
     
  14. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    To put it simply, fiction (or any genre) is not going anywhere. There is always new talent to replace the old. That is the way life works, for anything.
     
  15. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I don't even know what to make of your trolling gibberish. But that was not a cynical snipe. People die. People are born. That is the facts of life. There is no arguing it.
     
  16. WhooshHayley
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    WhooshHayley New Member

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    When you look at the bestseller lists they are full of one of three things: tired big names, celebrity names and TV/movie tie-ins. The problem lies with mainstream public's taste for the familiar. They would rather take Grisham on a 10 hour flight with them because of his past successes than try an unknown author. Because there is a market for it, publishers will keep on filling the shelves with crap. Good publishers, however, always have their eye on the future and new writers are published everyday... There is hope for us all.
     

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