Hey! There’s real writing in my trashy novel! Where did that come from?
It’s my vacation, and while I do have “serious” (inject serious face here) books to read, I also have some completely escapist volumes to plow through as well. Except…well, I picked up the latest one and much to my suprise…there was actual character development! And..and… a well crafted plot. It actually looks like the author cut out sex scenes so that she could…wait for it…develop the story. Dear god in heaven what is going on here!
After publishing 8 books in a series it is a truth universally acknowledged (yeah, I just plagiarized Jane Austen) that your books are supposed to get worse as you start phoning it in for the paycheck, assuming that the fans will never notice. In part I understand and sympathize. Publishing deadlines must become stressful, and fans clamoring for a next installment, while mildly ego-boosting, must also be intimidating. The desire to just throw some words on a page has got to come into play from time to time. And because I’d already considered all this, I wasn’t expecting greatness. Don’t get me wrong…this isn’t George Elliot. Actually, George Elliot bores me to tears (though I did like “Mill on the floss” some twenty-odd years ago). But I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of character development and the insight.
It’s nice to be surprised, by a book and an author. It’s also comforting to know that a bestselling author still has the ability to do that – that they’re still a real writer and they’re still paying attention, to their characters and their story.