Sunday, March 01, 2009

Pat on the Release of Book Two

I have this friend Pat. You might have heard of him. He wrote a book. People loved it. Made him famous and wealthy. His readers then promptly began demanding another book. Pat, being the generous guy that he is, wants to produce said book. Actually, he wants to have produced it like a year ago. Alas, easier wished for than done...
This is one of several cartoons Pat has up on his blog. Also, he has a long, detailed explanation of what's up. I think it's a brave, honest and insightful mediation on the creative process and the pitfalls of... well, massive success.

If you haven't already, go take a look: Pat's Post.

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Blogger Corby Kennard said...

This all dovetails rather nicely with the GRRM hate and Scalzi and Stross's responses.

The creative process is just that, a process, and like any process is vulnerable to outside influences and inner turmoil. As professionals, you and all other writers have a responsibility to your readers to produce material on a timely basis or at least let us know what's what. Conversely, we as fans have the responsibility to be supportive, understanding, and respectful of "our" writers and be able to separate the work from the person.

I don't know if anyone is screaming at Pat to get book 2 done (except for maybe his editors), but if they are they should stop. In a documentary about The Ramones the comment was made that you have a lifetime to create your first album - books are the same way. Once you have that success, the pressure is on, and not everyone responds well to that. The yelling does not help.

As far as GRRM goes, the only thing he should have one differently is to be a bit more communicative to his fans - and not in the "Hey, I just watched the best football game ever. Book? What book?" kind of way. He really should have been more forthcoming about the difficulties he is having with the book and, honestly, playing to the fan sympathies. Now it's become a case of sour grapes and no one's happy. You and Pat and Scalzi and Stross are very revealing about what is going on, even if you don't give us ALL the details, we at least know what progress is being made, if any, and can understand the foibles of your current project.

Pat is doing the "right thing" here by explaining what is going on. (I have not read all of it yet, but that comic you posted explains a lot.) His fans are going to stick with him if they know he's working on it, even if he's making little progress. Maybe 5 years down the line, if there is no book, that may change, but if he remains the likable and interesting guy he is, and keeps hacking away at it, he shouldn't have any problem keeping those fans happy until they have that second book in their hands.

Now the THIRD one ...

2:43 PM  
Blogger Corby Kennard said...

And now, having read Pat's blog, it pretty much does exactly what I said here, and is, I think, the perfect storm of all this impotent fan rage at GRRM and blog posts by other authors. It takes all of that into account and finishes up with a rather appealing call for fan support in the form of a shout out in book 2.

Pat is a classy guy. But you knew that.

2:54 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Yep. I did.

3:10 PM  
Blogger slkcivil said...

As a new writer, writing student even, I find the comic hilarious! It's encouraging that even successfully published writers struggle too. And as a reader, waiting for several sequel books to come out this year, I'll try to be more patient (try)!

5:36 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Oh yeah we struggle! You kidding me? The struggle never goes away. It's a tricky bastard that just keeps changing shape...

As for patience. We welcome that. Of course, we also want you to rush out and by our books the day they appear, so we can be selective in our need for reader patience.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Meghan said...

That comic is hilarious and I really sympathize. I just bought The Name of The Wind yesterday and am enjoying it, so I expect the second book WOULD take lots of time.

I don't understand why people need to go super negative on their "favorite" author. It makes no sense. Besides, an author's work is a part of them, and they need to finish it in their own time and in their own way. Screaming at them isn't going to make the creative process move any faster.

Like Paranoyd said, a lot of this stems from rabid and mean-spirited "fans" of GRRM. There's no reason for that kind of hate. I DO think however it would save GRRM a lot of pain if he wrote a sentence on Dance's progress (or lack there of) every few weeks just to assure fans their patience will be worth it (and I'm not going to lie--my patience is also starting to wear thin). Blogging about figurines and football without a word about Dance gives people the wrong impression.

5:34 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


Good points all, clearly stated.


5:35 PM  

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