Wednesday, March 7, 2018

# Wednesday Chatter

Wednesday Chatter #21: Trusting The Author - Take 2

Hello my lovely bookworms!

Wednesday Chatter is a weekly feature at Ruby's Books where we'll be talking about anything and everything related to books and reading. Click here if you want to see what we talked about in the previous weeks

WARNING: Some bad words might be used in the following post. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Today's topic is a little sensitive and slightly inspired by drama, so please keep that in mind. Also, keep in mind I'm writing this while being super sleepy, so I may be coming across as extra bitchy #sorrynotsorry

I want to talk to you about trusting the author, expectations and why sometimes it's best to let authors do their thing. I previously wrote another post about Trusting the author (hence the Take 2 on today's title), but I feel like I need to write another post on this topic.

A few weeks ago I saw a Facebook post that a very well-known author wrote about how they weren't writing books for a certain segment of readers, they were writing the story that they wanted to write and the story they felt was true to the characters. Notice how I'm not naming the author? It's not because I don't want to name who it is, but because this isn't a discussion about a certain author, or about author behavior, but rather a discussion about storytelling itself and the readers. This author went on to say how they received messages from fans complaining about certain books, how some characters ended up with the wrong person, yada yada yada.

Source: Popkey

This FB post prompted a memory. Years ago...I think....maybe almost 4 years now? Anyway, years ago a different author decided to do what was, in my opinion, a brilliant marketing decision/campaign, by having fans pick the ending of the last book of their trilogy. Again I won't name the author, but a little search on the net will reveal exactly who the author is.

Now here's the thing. I don't know if this author was really going to write the book as the fans wanted said book to be like. I also don't know if the author simply wanted to get more publicity on their book and chose this brilliant way to do it. All I know is that it got people talking. And boy were some of them pissed. I remember seeing comments going from "wow I didn't expect this" (which isn't that bad) to "wow this author can't write" (and really other rude comments). So basically some where really mean comments.

Source: Popkey

Can you see the hypocrisy there? Here you have an author willing to give readers what they wanted, a book where they can decide what happens, and most people were angry and disappointed and saying how the author can't write their own book. And at the same time you have readers complaining about a story not going the way they wanted it to and telling the author they were wrong with their own story. I'll tell you what, I happily voted on the ending. I kept my fingers crossed that I would get the ending that I wanted, but I also didn't fully believe that my vote was truly going to influence the story. Why? Because authors write, readers read.

Before you roll your eyes at me, hear me out. Right now, I'm 100% convinced that Alina will end up with Mal in the Grisha trilogy, which I haven't yet finished. (I'm a chicken, but I will finish reading that series in March). Does that mean I'm happy? No. But that's how the author saw that story going, and that's how I'm reading it. I'm trusting the author to write their story, not the one I want to read no matter what.

I'm not saying "don't have expectations", because we all do. I have those expectations with each and every book I pick up, and with every movie I watch. What I am saying however is that if you're not enjoying the book, the movie, whatever, why are you pushing yourself and forcing yourself to read or watch it? Stop reading it, stop watching it, pick up another book or movie or whatever. I don't understand people who force themselves to read something when they know they're not enjoying themselves. But that's another topic and one I really don't want to get into right now.

Back to talking about trusting the author. Readers trust the author when they pick up a book to write a good story (with good being a very subjective thing - much like rating stars), one that makes them feel things, one that maybe even makes them think, but definitely one that entertains them. If I can't trust the author, I don't enjoy the story. I don't like it when an author lets me down, and oftentimes I DNF the book.

I imagine we all pick up a book expecting something, whether it's a life lesson, a good representation about something or someone, or even just plain smut for those who enjoy erotica. Ultimately, we want to be entertained. Is this entertainment more important than the quality of the finished product though? I once saw a quote on social media (don't remember where or who said it; if you know, let me know in the comments) that said something along the lines of "if the book you want to read hasn't been written yet, write it yourself". Do we all have the gift of storytelling? No. And while yes, I am a reviewer, and I do write critiques to the books I read, whether positive or negative, I don't feel like I should start dissecting a story and point out all the mistakes, in detail, and offer pointers on how those mistakes should have been dealt with to those who do have the gift of storytelling, those who try to write something and publish it, no matter the form. I'm including fanfiction here by the way, since I've read some truly awesome fics.

Would you tell a painter they should have used a color instead of another? Would you tell a game designer they need to code a certain way to have the trees on the right instead of on the left of the screen? No? Well...then... trust the author to write the story that made sense to them, trust them to have a plan, or just don't read it.

Bottom line is, we all have different tastes in reading, and with the amount of books and fanfiction out there, we're bound to find the story that satisfies us. So maybe instead of telling an author how they made a mistake in writing a story the way they did, how about we branch out and try out a new author? You might even find the gem you've been waiting for.

Source: Giphy

PS: Please don't give me spoilers on the Grisha trilogy and how it ends. I'm going to read that book this month. No spoilers! :D

Let's discuss. Do you trust the author when picking up a book, no matter your expectations?


  1. This is a valuable post, Ruby. I really appreciate the thought you put into it, and reminding readers that they don't have to like every book they read, but should respect it, no matter what.

    1. Thank you! That is basically what I was trying to say. Because we can be critical and we should definitely be critical, but we absolutely don't need to like everything.

  2. I might complain sometimes if a character does something that seems out-of-character, or I might say I don't like how a series ended or something. But I never expect authors to write their stories to fit my own likings. Does that make sense? I respect the decisions they made for their characters and story, as long as it's not wildly out of character or nonsensical, even if it's not exactly what I wanted to happen.

    1. It makes total sense and I am the same way. I might not enjoy something but I respect it for what it is, which is someone's work, and not expect to have a book fully tailored to my tastes or wants or desires.


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