Writing by numbers

I think it’s a sign of increasing maturity (or at least age) that piss ups with friends now start and finish earlier and are based around something other than just drinking (barbecue!). Although we all got quite (read very) tipsy, we were in beds by 12, up again by 9, had enjoyed a full english sit down breakfast by 11, and the house was empty again by half past. Time was when we’d only have just been becoming conscious again at this point in the day.

Many good conversations were had yesterday, including one that I would now like to revisit for your consideration: Books, they’re not very good any more are they?

Now, some clarification is obviously needed at the point, as we weren’t dismissing all books, but we were specifically looking at fantasy/sci-fi books. It seems that the publishing world has decided that all books that fall into this genre must be at least trilogies, and so an author spends 10 years writing a very good first novel, is then expected to write a follow up to it to be published 18 months later, and another 18 months after that. And frankly, they’re not very good. I’ve lost count of the number of times recently I’ve started reading a new series, enjoyed the first book, been bored by the second and given up in disgust half way through the third.

And this means that I’m becoming less inclined to give new authors a chance, deciding instead to stick to those I know I will enjoy, even if that does mean re-reading books for the umpteenth time.

I feel it’s less pronounced in other genres, the multiple part format not being employed as much, but the speed at which author’s are expected to churn out new books is definitely causing quality to suffer, and lead to the same book being written again and again, just set in a slightly different location (yes, Dan Brown, I am looking at you). There are of course exceptions to the rule, but I would like to use this opportunity to beg those responsible: stop formulaic publishing! Thank You.


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