"You can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself"
February 24, 2009 2:56 PM Subscribe
posted by We had a deal, Kyle (158 comments total)
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Fantasy writer George R. R. Martin responds to fans impatient for the latest installment of his series A Song of Fire and Ice
: "Okay, I've got the message.
Additional commentary by MeFi's own jscalzi and cstross is illuminating on the business and art of writing, particularly the challenges of maintaining quality and consistency across multi-volume arcs. John Scalzi, Pissy Fans
[T]hese same fans would say “Yeah, the series used to be good, but then he started phoning it in around book five.” You know, if I’m going to annoy a fan, I’d prefer to annoy a fan by not writing a book that sucks, than by writing one that does.
Charlie Stross, The art of being late
Parallelism is hard for human minds to grasp. When you're telling a multi-viewpoint story, what you are doing in effect is equivalent to writing a whole bunch of short novels in parallel — one per viewpoint. And we are not good at doing this sort of thing. Humans generally don't multi-task well; we lose efficiency rapidly as we pay the price for switching context.
An earlier Stross post touches on some similar issues: Why are SF and fantasy novels the length they are?