More Is Not Better


No, more is not better. Better is better. More is just more. If it’s more of the same, and the same is boring or insipid or unimaginative, then how is more better? It’s not.

Yes, this is somewhat of a rant. Recently I’ve been reminded of some authors who are overly busy because they are putting out several books a year, some in different series and even for different publishers.

This means there is little, if any, coordination between when a manuscript is due and when the book needs to be edited or promoted. There’s also a question in my mind how well an author can write unique characters when she spends so little time getting to know them.

Experts say we only can have three or four close friends at any one time. So how many characters can a writer develop? Seems to me we should know our characters nearly as well as we do our close friends.

Consequently, I feel confident that more characters don’t make for better stories. More books of course require more characters, so it seems to me, every book an author puts out in a relatively short amount of time indicates less time spent with the characters.

There are exceptions, of course. D. Barkley Briggs, for example, is in the process of publishing three books this year. He published the first of a young adult trilogy with NavPress back in 2008, but weeks before the second released — a book that had already gone through the editing process — his publisher decided to end its fiction line.

When he recently signed with AMG Publishers, they reprinted his first book, then three months later published Corus The Champion. The third in the Legends of Karac Tor series is due out a scant three months after Corus, but this elapse of time is not a reflection of how long it took to write the books.

Apart from the obvious — the disadvantage a writer puts herself at by trying to create deep and realistic characters and a story that is fresh and well crafted in such a short amount of time — there’s also reader weariness.

Yes, reader weariness. What if the Harry Potter books all came out within six months of each other? Would readers have been ready to stand in line waiting for a midnight release when they’d done it just six months earlier?

Would so many readers have been clamoring for the next book, or would some give up the effort to be in the mix because after three books, they’d fallen hopelessly behind?

My point is, writers that believe more is better may actually be saturating the market with their own work. Readers either can’t keep up or may grow weary of the writer’s voice.

Not to mention that some writers sacrifice story structure for the more is better approach. The plot twists and twists and twists again in a meandering plot because the writer doesn’t really know where the story is going and is just hoping it all comes out in the end.

Some readers don’t care how convoluted a plot is, as long as there’s a spaceship battle in every chapter. Some don’t care how realistic the characters are, so long as there’s a good guy and a bad guy. I understand — I once watched western movies that had characters like that.

But make no mistake, those stores are not better. No matter how many of them a writer cranks out, more does not make them better.

Fantasy Friday – More Good Books


Some visitors here at A Christian Worldview Of Fiction may have noticed that I don’t write as many “for writer” posts as I once did. I haven’t mentioned it often, but I have a second blog.

I realized recently I need to make this clear. I was conversing with another blogger who I thought had abandoned the blog I’d subscribed to. Turns out she’d just started a new one where she was talking about different things. I would have happily followed her to her new blog, but I didn’t know about it. Horrors, I thought, I’ve done the same thing! 😮

So now it’s out. Once a week (usually Saturday) I post writing tips over at Rewrite, Reword, Rework, my editing blog.

Fantasy stays here, though. Fantasy is for us all, writers, readers, thinkers. It’s just the best genre! (But I might be a tad partial in that assessment 😉 ).

At any rate, I thought it was timely to put up a Fantasy Friday post because there’s a lot happening in fantasy/speculative fiction land.

First, AMG Publishers/Living Inc has several books out or coming out.

Scott Appleton may be a new author to you, but he’s about to release his second book this summer. He created a small press and published his first novel in the Sword Of The Dragon series, Swords Of The Six. The book sold well, and now AMG has picked up the entire series. The first title is already available.

Also new to the AMG family is D. Barkley Briggs who first published The Book of Names, first in the Legends of Karac Tor, with NavPress. When the company decided to end its fiction line, the rest of the series was homeless. Until now. The first book re-released last month and the second, Corus the Champion, is due out in two weeks!

In addition AMG is continuing the series of fan favorites — C. S. Lakin, whose second book in The Gates Of Heaven series, Map Across Time, released in March, and Bryan Davis who returns to the world of Billy and Bonnie Bannister in the Children Of The Bard series. Book one is due out this summer.

For the middle grade/YA crowd, in January the Miller Brothers and Warner Press released book three of the Codebearers Series, Hunter Brown and the Eye of Ends.

WaterBrook Press has a key adult fantasy release. Jeffrey Overstreet‘s conclusion of the Auralia’s Thread series, The Ale Boy’s Feast hit bookshelves last month and happily the CSFF Blog Tour will feature it in May.

Finally, today is the day the next set of Marcher Lord Press books is available:

Christy Award winning author Jill Williamson’s From Darkness Won, book three of the Blood Of Kings series, Mitchell Bond’s Hero In Hiding, second in the Hero Complex Series; and well-known science fiction author Kathy Tyers’ re-release of Firebird, complete with newly created maps and annotations.

If all that wasn’t enough, popular YA author (The Door Within series, two stand-alone pirate fantasies, and co-author of The Berinfell Prophecies) Wayne Thomas Batson has new series with AMG. The first book in The Dark Sea Annals Series, The Sword in the Stars, came out last fall. Now there is a contest involving his completion of book two, The Errant King. It’s a dual of sorts, with his co-author Christopher Hooper.

There you have it. Lots of books to enjoy, now and in the days ahead.

Published in: on April 1, 2011 at 7:16 pm  Comments (8)  
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