Writers vs. Fans… Who Makes the Call.

 

Hi Jim,

I’m currently writing a sequel to a short story I posted recently and was hoping you could give me some advice. I’ve been getting a lot of people emailing me with questions, suggestions, and criticisms about the previews. A lot of people don’t seem to like the direction I’m taking my story. To me it feels natural, but given the level of objection, I’m wondering if I should scrap the story all together and start from scratch. I don’t know what to do.

Thanks,
MB Nelson.


Hi MB,

You have my sympathies. That’s a pretty tough conundrum you’re dealing with. My advice is and has always been to write how you want to write. In the end, your fans are your fans because they like what YOU created.

That being said, I know a lot of people these days are angry about reboots of beloved series and movies (Ghostbusters, Star Trek, etc.), and I’m definitely in their camp. However I’m not against these series and reboots being made. I simply vote with my dollar and don’t partake in these movies/books/TV shows if I don’t think I’ll like them.

So that’s the rub, you have every right to create your stories from your IP as you see fit. Just be aware, your audience also has the right to criticize your work and choose not to partake in it. This is a risk we, as writers, have to take every day of our lives. I always take constructive criticism, but in the end, I’ll still do what I believe is right whether that is following the advice or not.

One side note I will say, do not get mad at your fan base. As I’ve stated in multiple posts, getting mad, argumentative, or going out of your way to taunt your detractors, or accuse them of some kind of bias is a quick way to lose yourself an audience. Take the criticisms with a grain of sand and do as you see fit. Just keep a cool head.

If you wind up losing a large portion of your audience or they don’t like your book, then you have a few options open to you…

  1. Abandon the series. I don’t recommend this lightly, but if you’re doing this as a source of income and people really don’t like the direction you’re taking your story, then it may be time to end it. Fans are a fickle thing and once they’re turned off, it can be very hard to win them back unless the next follow up is Empire Strikes Back level good.
  2. Divergent Timeline. I know a few people MAY see this as kowtowing a bit and maybe it is, but usually when I write, I have multiple directions in mind that a story can go. After fleshing the story out, I’m subject to change that because something didn’t fit. Maybe you could explore one of the other paths and create a sort of ‘what if’ timeline. I actually have a few novels written like that which I’ve never published.
  3. Press on. If you’ve got the sort of Devil May Care attitude, you can try to press on and hope that the overall story will reconnect with your fans… its not easy to do and I’ve rarely seen it succeed, but it’s not impossible.

Anyway I hope this helps a little bit. I definitely think you should write your story the way it works for you. Above all else, if you’re not enthusiastic about what you write, you certainly can’t expect your fans to be.

Let’s open this up though, readers does anyone have a suggestion for Nelson? Let us know in the comments.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

 

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