Tuesday, March 03, 2009

John Scalzi: "10 Things to Remember About Authors"

Acclaimed SF writer John Scalzi explains "10 Things to Remember About Authors".

Choice Quote:
"And no, being a fan of an author’s books or series doesn’t count as being actively involved in that author’s life. You are actively involved with his or her books; that’s not even close to the same thing. "

To be honest, the possibility (however microscopically slight) that one day, my books might become as popular as his, frightens me just a little bit.

Because "fans" can sometimes act like they "own" the writer and/or the writer's works and has the right to make demands, according to the Unspoken First Law of the Obsessed Fan:

"I love this, therefore it is mine."

I shouldn't have to tell you that this is the first step toward a dysfunctional relationship.
Try telling your spouse/significant other (in a suitably creepy voice), "I love you, you're mine, I OOWWN YOOUU..." and see how far that gets you.

I'd rather have Readers than Fans. A Reader has no need to make demands. A Reader enjoys a book, has no need for a never-ending book series. A Reader recognizes that a fictional character isn't his/her Secret Identity.

On the flip side, Readers feel no obligation to buy your next book just because they "have to." Which is fine with me. I can relax and write what I want, not the sequel that the Fans Have Demanded.

1 comment:

John Wiswell said...

Are you telling me the denizens of fanfiction.net don't own Harry Potter? Because if he isn't an indentured slave, half the things they've done to him can't possibly be legal.