• L.B. Gale

      It’s too bad. I suspect it’s because the “business of actual writing” seems so mysterious and personal to everybody, whereas publishing and success seem more quantifiable. And then they get conflated by writers until it seems like the business of actual writing is the same as getting published and finding “success.” It’s a tricky thing.

      • yeah, and I think I’m probably the exact opposite, I hate talking about what publishers are looking for and what you should be doing etc etc. I just write. Unfortunately I’ve been ‘just writing’ for the past couple of years and never thought about what I’d have to do to get the actual thing published … hence only discovering the interwebular and twitter etc a few days ago! (oh and just between you and me, your blog is the best written author’s site I’ve spotted in my adventures over the last few days)

  1. Lauren Ipsum

    When you’re done this series, or perhaps as an adjunct to it, I’d like to see a few posts on “throwing books.” These are books which are so terrible, so poorly written, so hackneyed and predictable, with characters so flat or clichéd, plot twists so contrived or unbelievable, that you throw them across the room and announce “I know I can write better than that!” and it gets you inspired to get back to the keyboard and prove it.

    Exhibit A: Eragon.

    • L.B. Gale

      That’s a very good idea. Similar to how the bios of these successful writers are both inspiring and terrifying, “throwing books” as you aptly call them are both depressing and wonderful at the same time: depressing in that a publisher actually published them, but also comforting in that they give you a boost in confidence. I will keep that in mind for future posts. And I agree with you on Eragon 100%!

    • Arghlita

      Oh dear lord yes, that book. Also “The Way of Shadows.” I have to give the man props for getting that published, and popular, but by page 40 I gave it up as a lost cause.

      I have promised not to make fun of that book any more until I’ve actually completed a manuscript of my own, though. How’s that for motivation?

      • L.B. Gale

        That’s admirable – to hold off making fun of the book until you’ve completed your own. It’s definitely true that it’s always easy to criticize, but much harder to actually create something. It should be good motivation! Good luck, and I hope you finish the MS soon so you have the right to complain about whatever books you want!

  2. I love this series, moreso because you’ve touched upon two of my biggest influences. I was introduced to GRRM when I was a hard core gamer in the 00’s. (Playing a text-based RPG, with a buncha intellectual types.) At the time, I was tinkering with my character(s) back story, and creating short little stories about what he/they were doing when I wasn’t logged in.

    When I read Martin, I thought that he was so good… that I could do it; I could create my own world and make my characters as interesting and compelling as Martin did. When I want to find my zen, I go and reread the whole series. I don’t know if I’ll ever be as good as he is, but if you’re going to aim, aim high.. right?

    On the opposite end of the scale, the book that I read that made me stop second-guessing myself, and push forward with my WIP was “Wizard’s First Rule.” The protagonist was a truth-seeker and his two main companions lied to him the whole time. I could scream. That, too, gives me confidence.

    Thank you, again, for these posts.

    • Lauren Ipsum

      “When I read Martin, I thought that he was so good… that I could do it”

      I felt the same way about Stephen King, believe it or not. He made writing look so easy, in a good way, that I knew I could do just as well. And that was from his early, choppy work (Carrie, Cujo).

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