Friday, April 12, 2013

They Keep Getting Better

by G.Parker

Have you ever noticed that a favorite author either gets better with each book, or sort of tapers off?  There doesn't seem to be a even level, or plateu for writing.  You are either really good and keep getting better, or you're average and get great, or your so so and go down hill.  There are even those that are really good and then sort of slide off.

Think about John Gresham.  I think he's written some really good books.  I wouldn't recommend them to everyone, they're abit gritty and most of them have no morals, despite the fact that they are writen by and usually about  I haven't read anything by him since Bleachers.  In talking to someone else who was familiar with his books, they said that he had really gone down hill.  In the beginning his books were gripping, full of suspense.  They felt that his later books had become to formulaic.  They were very disappointed.

I think of Josi Kilpack.  Read any of hers lately?  She has a food/murder series going that is just simply amazing.  I thought the first book was good, but they just seemed to keep getting better and better.  The last one... whoa.   I'm really looking forward to the next in the series.  Especially since it takes place on a cruise...;)

But anyway, my point is authors that really care about the craft either continue to educate themselves and improve their writing, or they level out and start to go down hill.  Once they start to think they've made it to the top, I think they start believing the hype.  I'm sure it would be difficult to not absorb some of the accolades that abound, but it's something that as a writer you need to think about now.  Before the crush.

What kind of writer do you want to be?  I'm sure you want to be amazing.  You want to be on everyone's mind.  Your book on everyone's bookshelves.  Doing the library circuit.  Book signings.  Demands for another book from the publisher, your agent, the public.

Isn't that the dream?

I just want to be the best writer I can be.  Don't you?  That means reading up on other authors, on styles and plots and taking classes.  Continuing to write consistently, every day.  Making writing a part of your life in such a way that you know when something isn't working.  You grab the group of readers and ask them to ferret it out so you can fix it.  You have a critique group that works through the chapters with you.  Your family knows that it's crunch month, and they know mom/dad isn't making dinner or going to be running errands to the store for that last minute project, they'll have to think ahead.  I know, same ol' stuff.  But that's how it is with writing.  It doesn't really change.

I don't know what any of the hoopla is like, I don't know that I ever will.  I know that it's going to continue to take work to get there.  I must say though, that if I can come anywhere close to some of the writers we have in our midst, then I'll be satisfied.

How about you?

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