I am currently reading the second last book out of the Pretty Little Liars book series and it has got me thinking about when a book series should end. The Pretty Little Liars series was supposed to end at book 8 but has since gone on for another eight books. The last four books seem to be very drawn out so far. It feels like Sara Shepard has begun running out of things for the last four books (I am reading the last few books to find out who A is and how they stop A). It reminds me of the last few Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood books – those felt like Charlaine Harris was running out of story but kept going because of the TV show. Those last few books weren’t as strong as the rest of the books in the series.
So when would be a great time to finish a book series?
I feel it could be when there’s enough strong story lines to finish the series without making it drawn out with thin story lines. For example, the Pretty Little Liars series should have finished at book 8 but could have just finished at book 12 without having another four books afterwards.
But how does a writer/author of a series know when it’s a good time to finish a series? How do they know when enough is enough? I know that there are fans out there who would love to know more and have more books written about their favourite characters. Or that there’s also a TV show going on as well and they want to keep up with it, but is that really necessary? If the series is still strong, does it really need more books after the last published book?
It just seems so much easier saying a book series needs to finish as an outsider compared to a writer who has invested so much time and effort into writing, editing and publishing the books.
I feel like writing and writing and writing. But it’s getting clouded by the need to look after a baby, doing the housework and helping the other half out with his businesses. Which then leads to not a lot of time to write. Or read the ever growing pile of to-read books that I have stashed away.
And then when I do want to write and sit down to do it, I feel a little stuck, like I’m not sure where to go from point A to point B and there’s no inspiration popping up to help out (although my baby does seem like an inspiration point for one of the stories I want to write).
Perhaps I have a case of writer’s block or perhaps I procrastinate too much (or maybe it’s just a combination of both those things).
I really do need to put my writer’s hat on and make time to write …..
I remember when I was younger and had the idea that writers were philosophical and wrote brilliant prose whenever they sat down to write.
I have since learnt that not all writers can write well. That not all writers have what you would call prose. That not all writers are philosophical. That not all writers are brilliant at writing.
I have since learnt that I am not the greatest writer compared to the great writers in the world today. I have learnt that because I want to be a writer, it does not mean that I am given the ability to be really insightful or philosophical or have great prose or brilliant writing. I have learnt it takes not just skill and talent, but a lot of hard work and practice to be a really good writer.
I’ve also learnt that everyone who works hard and practices their writing aren’t always as really good as the writers who wrote the classics. And that not everyone gets it right every time they write something. That there are flaws in every book and that every reader has different tastes and ideas about what makes a good book or a good writer or a good piece of writing.
How silly I once was when it came to writing and good books and good writers. How silly I was to think that because I read a lot meant that I knew a lot about the world when in fact I didn’t really know much at all. How silly I was to once think that books had all the answers when life experiences had the answers the books didn’t.
And how silly I was to think that I could end up like one of my favourite authors and become a best selling author like her. How silly was I to think that I could come out of being on and near the poverty line and be a best selling author nearly overnight like J. K. Rowling. How many times does something like that happen? Not many.
I can’t believe how naive I used to be. Or how naive I am still.
Can I really objectify writing in my spare time when the mood comes along when I have a job to go to and soon a child to look after? Can I objectify the time and the money I spend on writing? Would it all be worth it? Especially since there are others out there who want to write and be published writers?
I actually finished reading this book a while ago. It was one of the many books that have been stashed away in my handbag for reading when I was waiting for appointments or been out to lunch by myself when I’ve been running errands.
The book in question is Skeleton Crew by Stephen King. It is one of his collections of short stories that he has put together to be published as one book.
I enjoy reading Stephen King’s short stories as much as I enjoy reading his novels. I like the fact that he writes the short stories in between writing his novels and that he continues to hone his writing skills between the writing and editing and rewriting of the longer stories. I like the fact that he continues to write short stories even after he is making money on full length novels now and not have to scrape by on the short stories he would send into magazines to help keep his family afloat. I like the fact that you don’t always have to know what story is coming up next and where it would lead you.
I would definitely recommend reading the Stephen King short stories that are available.
So the other day, I was thinking I was going to do a lot of writing – well, more than what I would normally do when I do decide to do some writing.
But instead (in amongst getting sidetracked) I ended up starting to plot one of the stories that I’m currently trying to write. For some reason, I feel like the story is somewhat flat and I think that if I start to plot the story and the characters, perhaps it would help me lift the story.
I’m not big of plotting a story – not in a lot of detail anyway. I’m more into letting the story grow organically while I’m writing it and editing it and rewriting it.
I have tried letting this particular story to grow organically but it doesn’t seem to be quite there yet. Yes, it has grown and started going in a particular direction which I think is good for the story. But I don’t think it’s quite there yet and I’m hoping that the plotting I’m in the process of doing is going to help it.
Does anyone else have similar problems when writing?
Okay, I think it’s time for me to get away from writing about the depressing stuff. Yes, I do have some things that I need to work through, but I have to start focusing on some positives as well. Just focusing on the negatives isn’t going to help me or anyone around me.
One of those positive things (for me anyway) is getting back into writing. I’ve always wanted to write fictional stories ever since I was a child. I’m going to have to get back into that and start writing some more. I can’t sit around and not write anything (even if I am good at procrastinating). All the published writers continued writing until they finished their story and continued writing until it was better than their best (unless you’re Stephenie Meyer hahaha).
I think I can write well. I have read books from a range of people – great writers, good writers, mediocre writers and bad writers. Books by good or great writers who don’t always write a good or great book every time they publish a book.
That has to count for something, right?