Friday, March 20, 2009

Just to clearify

My wife wanted to let everyone know, she was going to post this last night but I told her I would do it, that the only reason she had me read Twilight (getting more into it the longer I read it) is because she wants me to succeed in writing popular fiction. I don't blame her. She has seen almost two years go by with countless hours pouring over a keyboard doing what I like to do and I have very little to show for it. At least monetarily. She reads much more 'bestselling' fiction than I do and I appreciate her support. There is no 'but' in that sentence.

I am taken back to my first writing class in college and the professor came out, he is a professional writer and a 1983 Playboy writer of the year. He came out and said point blank, 'The average writer only makes nine hundred dollars a year. Some make a lot more and some make nothing. It averages out to nine hundred dollars a year. If you are thinking I will turn you into the next best selling writer, you are in the wrong class.' It was sobering experience. Especially considering how much the class was costing us.

She has also had me read a Nicholas Sparks book (I enjoyed it but I can't write like him) and she got me into the Harry Potter books as well (I really enjoyed them, although I thought book 5 was slow and I was right when I thought it would be a pretty dull movie). to my own end I have tried to get her to read some Stephen King (I think she might like Blaze and Just After Sunset) and she has read some short stories but not all that I recommend to her (she still hasn't read Aaron's story in Monstrous, although I haven't read Steve Alton's story in that one yet.)

I guess in the end I can say that we all have our own tastes, I like Pepsi and beer (I don't mix them). She is more into Jack Daniels and Dr. Pepper (She does mix these two). She reads much more sentimental pieces I go for more visceral ones. Actually, she reads more than I do.

Have a good Friday.


Cate Gardner said...

Kudos to your wife for being so supportive.

I read recently that the average writer earns about $5,000 a year - inflation. At the moment I'd be very happy to be 'average'. :)

Fox Lee said...

It's sweet that she's trying to help : ) My mom likes to suggest a write childrens books *rolls eyes* A friend of hers wrote one, so now she thinks everyone can.

Anonymous said...

My wife will not read much of the stuff that I read. She read some Neil Gaiman at my request and has only read ONE King book ("Rose Madder").

But I keep trying!...

K.C. Shaw said...

Many years ago I asked a cousin who reads a lot more than me for some book recommendations. He gave me a huge stack of books, of which I read 1 1/2. I still feel guilty about that (although that 1 is one of my favorite books now). Kudos to you for actually reading the books your wife recommends. :)

Jamie Eyberg said...

She is very supportive.

Cate- I would love to be 'average' at that rate. I hardly made that working in the woodshop.

Nat- My aunt has just written a series of award winning children's books and she has been at this longer than I have.

Barry- I will keep trying as well.

K.C.- I don't read all of them. I would never have time to write :)

BT said...

Loud applause for your wife...

(now sitting back down)

Nobody knows what will be the next big popular fiction fad. My guess is YA sci-fi, but that's as much as a shot in the dark as anyone else. Timing is everything.

Good to read what is out there but only in so much as it can help you improve your own writing.

Twilight hits the mark with its target audience of teenage girls grappling with romantic and sexual issues.

But I don't know if it'll improve your writing.

But then, Carrie, Salem's Lot and Firestarter aren't literary masterpieces you will gain huge benefits from either. Still, I think you could learn more from them than Twilight or Harry Potter in so much as how to craft a story and how to ensure your characters are true to a given situation.

Clive Barker is brilliant as is Matherson, but new writers I'd look into would be Alexandra Sokoloff and I'm looking forward to Stuart Neville. Neither of these will be as big as JK or SM, but they'll be above the average.

So why don't I write YA sic-fi if that's where I think the next big meal ticket is coming from - because I suck at YA.

Aaron Polson said...

My favorite bit to steal from Twilight...the way Meyer left a cliffhanger at the end of most chapters. That keeps 'em reading.

Nothing wrong with a little post-graduate work, so to speak.

Jeremy D Brooks said...

We're kind of like that too...I can't think of a single book off-hand that we have both read (except for the textbook from the class we met in eleven years ago). Wait, not true: we read all of the Harry Potter books. But she's just not into fiction much at all...she reads books on gov't relations, surveying, know, fun stuff.