Your 2016 Authorial Mandate Is Here: Be The Writer That You Are, Not The Writer Other People Want You To Be

That blog title is way too long, but fuck it.

A handful of weeks ago, some presumably well-meaning tickledick posted a comment here at the blog. It was a comment that I chose not to approve because, really, I don’t need your shit, Rando Calrissian. This blog is my digital house, and I don’t let strangers inside just so they can take a dump on my kitchen table, especially so we can all sit around, smelling it and discussing it. But the comment was a splinter under my nail, working its way up into the finger-meat. And then reading George R. R. Martin’s end-of-the-year message about not finishing the newest SOIAF also was something that crawled inside me and starting having thought-babies.

Being here on the Internet is a bit like hanging out on a clothesline — some days are sunny and warm, other days are cool and breezy. Some days it pisses rain and the wind tries to take you, and other days it’s daggers of ice or a rime of snow or smoke from a wildfire or some pervert streaking across the lawn and stropping up against you with his unwanted nasty bits.

Being on the Internet means being exposed.

You’re just out there. A squirming nerve without the tooth surrounding it.

That’s good in some ways because you’re exposed to new people, new ideas, new ways of doing things. You’re not an isolated creature here. You are an experiment being observed and are in turn an observer of countless other experiments, and that makes a subtle-not-subtle push-and-pull. But can also be erosive or corrosive — it can wear off your paint a little bit.

As a writer in particular, it has its ups and downs, too. Here, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a gaggle of ink-fingered cohorts who know what it is to do what you do. You’ll have a herd, a cult, a clan, a tribe. You’ll have smaller communities who know what it is you write or want to write, too, whether it’s young adult or epic fantasy or erotic sci-fi cookbooks. And here on the Digital Tubes, everybody is has an opinion, everybody is an expert. And that’s extra-true with writing. Other writers have their processes and their hang-ups and their wins and their losses, and they share it all. Which is, on a whole, a good thing. Information is good. Camaraderie is good.

That, though, can muddy the waters at the same time. This Person is doing This Person’s thing, and That Person is doing That Person’s thing, and Other Person is really loud about what WILL SURELY WORK FOR EVERYBODY (translation, will probably only work for people who are or are like Other Person). And advice gurgles up around your feet like rising floodwaters. Do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t say that, don’t write this, this isn’t selling, that is a no-no, publish this way, sell that way, don’t publish that other way, drink this, wear houndstooth jackets with elbow patches, drink that, snark here, snark there, with a fox, in a box, wearing socks, eating rocks, with a bear, without hair, anywhere. We have a whole lot of writers trying to figure out who they really are, and in the process, do a very good job at also telling you who you should be in order to conform to their notions of who they want to be. To confirm who they are, it’s easy for them to also confirm who you should be, too. That’s not sinister. That’s just human nature. It’s easier to become something when others are along for the ride. And it’s also the joy of confirmation bias — what worked for me confirms that I WAS RIGHT AND SO YOU ARE A HEINOUS DIPSHIT IF YOU DO NOT FOLLOW PRECISELY IN MY FOOTSTEPS. I do it. You do it. Most of us do, I think.

It then gets further complicated once you have readers. Or, Uber Readers, aka, fans. Because they, too, have opinions on you and your work. They will have opinions on your process. And it’s not that they’re wrong, it’s that they’re — no, wait, they are wrong, never mind. They’re totally wrong, because they’re not writing the stories. They’re right about what they want to read and when they want to read it, but not about how to create it. It’s hard to tell someone how to do their job. It’s extra-hard to tell them how to make their art. Because process and prose and authorial intent are all intensely personal to the creator. Personal and twisted further by the pressures of creation and the potential mental stresses that come along with it — remember, a great many writers and artists also suffer from depression or anxiety or other ghosts in the gray matter.

It’s not just one type of writer over another. This is true of new writers who are just finding their way. This is true of mid-career or mid-list writers who are out there in the wilderness surviving, not sure how to get out of the forest just yet. This is true of super-successful authors who are trapped under the magnifying lens of a massively public fanbase — the sun likely focusing into a laser-hot beam upon their foreheads. All artists of every level are exposed here.

Here, now, is the comment referenced at the fore of the post:

“There is no skill floor or ceiling to being a writer. Anyone who speaks a language, who tells a story, can write. To be published is a stricter process that requires an adherence to professional guidelines and to a standard of quality that is dictated by the publishing office. That you’ve been published so many times is no small feat, and I commend you for it.

But having read Aftermath and Blackbirds, I feel that there is…a laziness to your style that you seem to be either unaware of or have come to terms with. It’s difficult to quantify, but it gives me the impression that you don’t value writing as an art. As a job, certainly. But not as a form of expression. Because otherwise you wouldn’t spend 45-90 days on a book. A soul isn’t bared in three months. Professional or no, no book you truly care for should go from start to finish that quickly.

To know an art is to break established rules in the hopes of producing a truer version of your vision. And you certainly break the rules of writing craft. In the first three paragraphs of Blackbirds you’ve disregarded flow, used inappropriate comparisons, and introduced the main character through a mirror scene. And while these things are permissible, they are not the hallmarks of someone who cherishes what he writes.

Great writing seeks subtlety. It’s the words that are unwritten, the descriptions that are inferred, the meaning that comes across through the subtext of what is explicit that writing excels at communicating. But your writing doesn’t ask me to look within myself for answers. It asks me to look no further than the page. And that, to me, is a tragedy. Because we’re all capable of greatness. But greatness comes from being dissatisfied with how things are, and with pushing the boundaries of what you believe yourself to be capable of in order to achieve your absolute best. And even then, you won’t be satisfied. You’ll push yourself further in your next pursuits, because now you’ve touched on what you’re capable of, but you won’t be satisfied.

To release your books in such a short time frame tells me that you’re satisfied, and that breaks my heart.”

I tried for the better part of a week to conjure a more cogent response than “fuck you,” and I got as far as “go fuck yourself.” Like, I tried to go through it once and conjure point-by-point rebuttals — well, no, because of course I value art and art is not beholden to any timetable and it takes the time that it takes short or long and — but eventually my rebuttal dissolves into a gargled cry of “eat a bucket of deep-fried fucks, you squawking chicken-fucker.” With an added, “HOW’S THAT FOR SUBTLETY,” and then a crotch-grab as I cackle and yell, “CHERISH THIS.”

This is someone who wants his vision to be my vision. He has very explicit ideas about how art is made — ideas that, by the way, are provably false. (For writers in particular, looking at the daily word counts of famous writers is clarifying in its sheer variation.) Great writing is not one thing any more than great paintings are, or great music, or, or, or. The variation in art is glorious. The variation in the process that puts the art into the world is equally amazing. Music can be operatic, or punk, or dub-step. A sculpture might be an alabaster goddess or a bunch of fucking cubes stuck to a bunch of other fucking cubes. Food can be subtle and airy or unctuous and heavy or whipped into a foam or shoved between two buns (tee hee buns). Comedy can be a routine that takes years to write, or an improv session that took 30 seconds to conjure.

There’s no wrong way to do it, as long as you’re doing it.

There’s no timetable, as long as you’re taking the time.

Nobody can tell you how you do it. They can only tell you how they do it or what illusions they hold about the process — illusions that often wither under actual implementation.

They can offer suggestions. And you are free to take them, hold them up in the light, and see if there is anything there of value. And if there isn’t? Then you can fling it into the trash compactor on the detention level where it will be ogled and eaten by the one-eyed Dianoga.

That’s not to say there aren’t people you should listen to — a good editor or agent, a trusted friend, a beloved author. But even there, you want to find people who will clarify and improve your process and your work — not substitute it with something that isn’t really yours.

So, in 2016, I advise you to give your middle fingers a proper workout and elevate them accordingly to any who would diminish who you are, what you make, or how you make it. You don’t need to wall yourself off from it, but you also don’t need to be a sweater hanging on the clothesline, either. Get some tooth around that nerve.

Know who you are. Learn your process. Find your way. And don’t let anyone else define who you are as a creator, as an artist, as a writing writer who motherfucking writes.

Happy 2016, writers.

You do you.

*explodes in gory human fireworks*

236 comments

  • The only thing that annoys me is the assumption that being published and selling means you’re successful. Erm, no, although I’m aware that more and more that’s what people think. I’ve read books by hugely bestselling authors that for various reasons just aren’t good. Really they’re not. They got lucky, or they’re really good at manipulating algorithms, or they market the hell out of their book. Good for them. But it’s not the only definition of success (it’s not my definition for sure, although I do okay).
    Success is what you say it is. So if finishing that story that has nagged at you for ages and then stuffing it in a drawer and calling it done is your success, then that’s what it is. If making zillions of dollars is your definition of success, then whoop-de-doo, go for it.
    I do teach the occasional class, and I’m struck by the way people can turn into sheeples if there’s one person who starts to tell them what’s what. I’ve had stickers printed that say, “there are no rules, only guidelines,” and get them to put it on their laptop lids, or notebooks, or whatever.
    One of the best questions you can ask is “Why?” Keep asking it until you can’t get any meaningful answers.
    Dude, you did a mirror scene? Wow, chunky.

  • January 4, 2016 at 11:34 AM // Reply

    Spillane famously said, “Those big-shot writers … could never dig the fact that there are more salted peanuts consumed than caviar.” And yet some caviar stinks like fish, some peanuts can sing and dance like that one little guy on the commercials, and if you can read Spillane’s *One Lonely Night* without getting chills and a hitch in your Adam’s apple, I’ll eat my fedora. Opinions are like assholes, and Mr. Heartbroken is as entitled to his very well written and cogently expressed feelings as I am to mine. Me though, I’m snacking all over the buffet.

    • That’s so funny, I honestly never questioned the gender and just assumed we knew it was a “he” before that revealing sentence. Whoops.

  • Hah! I love this, and I thank you for posting it. As a mid-career artist trying to transfer her life over to that of an author, I get this on all sorts of levels. I read that comment and the first and nicest and best I could come up with was, “what an arrogant fuck.”

    You do you. I’ll do me. He can go do himself all he wants.

    Happy 2016!

  • January 4, 2016 at 12:05 PM // Reply

    I’m surprised that this gentleman didn’t take more time to elaborate and proceed to explain to you the superiority of fusion jazz. Although you now have instructions on how to become successful, respected – nay, an *artiste* – so there’s that.

  • Thank you. I really needed to read this after having a late night discussion… wait, lecture aimed at me… about how I’m Doing It Wrong. From another writer who’s style sometimes grates on me, and we have honestly confirmed that we do not enjoy everything about each other’s style. The conversation was 90% unhelpful, though I did agree on one particular issue.

  • Sounds like this guy would rather see you do your best James Joyce impression than just do you.

    But really, why would anyone take that much time to tell someone they don’t like their writing? Why make it a personal goal to try to humble any artist who is not shoving his work down your throat?

  • I’m trying to come up with a way to say it more politely, but what comes to mind is this:

    I don’t give a single hot shit what readers think about my writing skills or style or what-have-you. I write novels; you run your yap unasked about my writing. One is infinitely harder than the other. Buy my books or don’t, but know that your opinion of my style or technique or what-have-you are unasked, unneeded, and not appreciated. Do a better job and show me up on the field of royalty checks, or GTFO.

    The only people who can give me criticism are the people who pay me to write–my editors. If you’re not one of them, keep your opinions of my writing to yourself and keep your money in your pocket if you must. Do you stand by construction sites and give the guy with the jackhammer advice on technique unasked?

    (That’s the editorial “you”, of course.)

  • I am on board with taking less advice! A couple of months ago I realized I’d become so saturated in other people’s advice that I could barely move, let alone pick up a pen. Shortly after moving away from all that I discovered something that works for me – which happens to be writing longhand instead of typing.

    I recently started reading Zer0es – I think it’s great so far!

    • I second the motion. Sometimes I feel like I need the “advice,” but too much of it can be paralyzing. Chuck’s Nano Pep Talk from 2014 put it well: children have no fear in their creativity, because they’ve never been told the “right” way to be creative. (I’m paraphrasing here, of course). It seems like trying to conform to a “right” way would actually be the opposite of creativity.

      • Hah! I love this comment! In 4th grade I had a teacher that tried to teach us how to draw human bodies using the “balloon method”. Since I already knew how to draw serviceable bodies I ignored his way and got my first and only-ever C in Art. I continued to ignore him and in my mid twenties was taught in Fashion Design School how to more easily get the proportions right, no balloons required. Those lessons I took, because they worked for someone who already knew how to draw a human body and did not try to get me to go back to stage one to learn how to draw an inferior product. Those lessons were tools, not rules…I hope that now, almost fifty years after that 4th grade class, I will always retain that childlike fuck-you-idness.

  • Wow…some people’s children. I’ve had this happen to me on a fanfiction story I wrote several years ago when I was still cutting my teeth on this gig called writing. She proceeded to tell me everything she thought was wrong with my story and how I missed telling this inspirational story she could see within the pages. Looked the chick up, she never posted a single story ever, but felt she had the right to tell me how to write mine.

    I managed not to tell her to fuck off (which was my first impulse as well), but did make a comment on one of the last few chapters that basically said, I wrote the story I wanted to write, if you want some other story, go write your own.

    Writing and publishing, as you said, you put yourself out there for people to insult your efforts. Many of which have no idea what it takes to write a story. Thankfully, not everyone is like that or I’d probably go hide in the closet and keep my stories to myself. Keep doing what you do, you know what kind of story you want to write and sometimes you do have to go with that impulse and tell them to FUCK OFF. 🙂

    Happy 2016!

  • January 4, 2016 at 12:33 PM // Reply

    I think I need to find the erotic SF cookbook tribe…

    More seriously, I have been two authors. The first exploded in a fiery ball of flames and stopped writing a very successful series. I got a lot of support, but i also got hate mail where people used my characters to yell at me. In my new incarnation, I’m being wildly honest with my readers – I read widely, I write widely, it’ll be done when it’s done, and there’s no guarantees until I hit the publish button. My royalty checks aren’t as big, but it feels more likely that I’ll still be writing a decade from now, and that’s a pretty damn important outcome

  • Don’t know how you deal with comments like that, Chuck, and hope they don’t make up much of your overall. Amazing (in a horrid way) how people are surprised to learn creativity begets variety, and that the resulting smorgasbord comes from differing techniques. Bet it’s surprising how many cultural masterpieces (art, writing, music, performance, etc.) were generated in mere minutes or hours.

  • What a condescending and arrogant thing to do, lecturing someone on that they don’t take their own work *seriously* enough.

    I think the profanity and crotch-grabbing is entirely appropriate as a response.

    Also, of your work I’ve read so far, I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit. But for authors who’s work I have not enjoyed – why would I (or anyone) go lecture them about it in their own virtual living room?

  • To that person so presumptuous about what art is: Faulkner wrote As I Lay Dying in 6 weeks and never edited it. I don’t think anybody’s arguing about whether that’s art.

    Love Chuck’s explanation of ‘art is what you make of it.’ As a young theatre director, this argument about what art is comes up a lot in the community, and Mr. Wendig has given probably the most constructive response. That response is art right there is what it is.

  • I spend all these years trying to tickle your dick, then this schmo comes around and gets the tickledick nickname? What’s left for me? Billy Homo Higgins? The Gayonator? The Gay Predator? One-Eyed Monster? Glory Hole Man? Queen of America? Billy the Butt Guy?

  • What a ridiculously pompous comment. And what is the point of it, really? Other than the point of being an ass? My philosophy regarding advice from other writers: You do you and I will do me. Maybe only one of us will be successful, maybe both, maybe neither. I’m okay with that, because I am true to the stories in my head. And that is why I write. Not to satisfy some idea of what readers want. It’s to shut up the people talking in my head.

  • I feel like this comment is a spin off of the starving artist labouring in the under-heated attic rooms attitude. As a professional artist (and slightly more amateur author) I can definitively say hunger and cold and tiredness are rarely conducive to the production of anything, much less brilliance.

    Speed, on the other hand is a wonderful thing. In fact, I would say there are times when working on a short schedule, when I have to get stuff down fast and there is little time to second guess and revise and make things fit in a way I think other people may perceive my meaning more easily, that is more soul-baring (whatever the hell that means) than anything I labour over for ages and ages.

    And I’ll go one step further and say that what I’m putting down now has been the work of years, because most of the projects I’m working on have been quietly marinating on the back counters of my mind, basted in the brine of my choices and experiences and mistakes only to emerge at this moment.

    So yea, my brainworld is one thing that is only mine. So even if I don’t always like it, it is precious to me, and no one else gets to tell me how it works. Thank you Chuck, for this post, because it is hard sometimes, when you are surrounded by opinions, to remember that listening can be useful, but you don’t have to let them in.

  • Great post! It was just this kind of shit that caused me to ditch the writing group I hooked up with at one point. Not sure what this dude’s point was, other than to be condescending. That “you’re breaking my heart” bit made me puke a little. Thanks for sharing the greater message with us; nice little pep talk and appreciated!!

  • ha ha. Yeah my fav comments are the trolls who actually start out looking like they’re praising you to get you to read the whole thing because it’s only in reading the whole thing that you’ll realize it’s a troll.

  • January 4, 2016 at 1:20 PM // Reply

    Terrific post, but do you really need the crotch grab part? That gets a little rapey and troubling.

    • I apologize if it comes across that way — it’s not meaning grabbing someone else’s crotch, but my own. (In this case, at another guy.) A profane gesture, like the the middle finger.

  • That comment is an epic piece of mansplaining, and I don’t even know the gender of the commenter.

    One thing (of many) that rubs me the wrong way about it: as a reader, I don’t always WANT a deep “inferred” reading that requires me to “look within myself for answers.” Sometimes I just want to be entertained. Sometimes I want a good piece of writing with a quick plot that I can deliciously devour.

    But this guy would probably say that, as a reader, I’m doing it wrong.

  • January 4, 2016 at 1:52 PM // Reply

    I needed this so badly today. Thank you for setting shit straight. Getting my middle finger ready for the world.

  • I’d like to point out the obvious: as that commenter blabbed on about the art process being distinctly personal and something that bares the soul, he also tells you how your art process is obviously not personal and does not bare your soul.

    Get it?

    On one hand, you aren’t an artist, and on the other hand artists do things the way that works for them. So which one is it, dear commenter? Is the great Wendigo an artist because he does art his way, as proscribed in the comment? Or is he not an artist because he does stuff his way as proscribed in the comment?

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    :Logic fail, divide by zero error: Abort, Retry, Ignore?:

  • Wow. You are a better man than me. Reading that comment, I couldn’t get out more than FUCK YOU AND ALL YOUR FUCKERY! before I descended into something more threatening that involved a machete and a pair of pliers. How fucking dare he try to tell you what writing is? Does he not understand art at all? Sometimes it takes years to grind and polish it to the perfect shining sculpture, and sometimes it comes out fast and frenzied in a brilliant splash of color. Personally, I write 5 to 6 books a year, and I stand by the quality of my work. No, they’re not life changing tomes with deep hidden meaning, but I can write a good fucking story and take you on a ride guaranteed to captivate you for a few hours if you like my style. Some do, some don’t. That’s the beauty of this world, all the wondrous choices.

  • January 4, 2016 at 2:10 PM // Reply

    Well, the other half of this is the reader experience. I feel like by extension, the person who criticized your writing also might be making judgements about readers. When I read, sometimes I just want to go for a ride and if the writer delivers the kind of ride I like, then I’m happy. Other kinds of readers notice practically every word. So that person is not only projecting a vision onto the writer, he’s also projecting a vision of what readers should like. (Everyone is like me, or at least they should be!)

  • If this guy is using time spent writing as a measure of a novel’s quality, it’d like to ask him if he thinks Dostoevsky’s The Gambler, written in just a few days; Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, completed in under a week; or William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, also done in just under a week, are books that display a “laziness of style” or whether these authors didn’t cherish their art. Personal hangups aside, Dostoevsky, Stevenson, and Faulkner were, to use Chuck’s words, “writing writers who motherfucking wrote.” You think these writers weren’t baring their souls, weren’t showing to the world their most deep-seated pains, fears, and insecurities?! Think they decided to pander to the demands of the reading public or to publisher at the expense of their art?

    Can I just say a few words here . . .

    Mr. Breaks My Heart, I think you are infected with that pervasive misconception that the arbitrary differences between so-called high art and low art make the difference, that there even is such a distinction and that it define’s a novel’s value. Sorry,Breaks My Heart, but you’re trespassing . . . that territory ultimately belongs to the reader.

    What breaks my heart is to see yet another self-righteous douchebag impugn the authentic-soul-baring-cherished art of someone else simply as a means to validate his own misguided notions about what it means to be not just a successful writer, but a writer. There’s too much of this sort of measuring-others-by-your-own-yardstick business going on.

    But deep down, I think you’re also insecure, Breaks My Heart, and probably a bit envious that Chuck has been so prolific, so successful, and so damn good at what he does—-he entertains, he enlightens, and he enlivens. Do you do that? And do you do it with flair, with authentically and without fear? Do you Art Harder Mutherfucker? Thanks to your smarmy post to Chuck, I think we have an answer.

    Thank you, Chuck. Keep inspiring.

  • Well said. Fuck that guy.

    I’ve been reading a lot lately about what gets taught in most creative writing programs versus what is needed to create a good story. This jerk is a prime example of people who think pretty words are more important than structure, and if he writes at all, probably can’t figure out why no one likes his stuff.

    You’re an inspiration, Chuck. A number of practical pieces about writing on this blog helped me finally finish a NaNoWriMo for the first time ever (thank you), and I think I may print out big quotes from this fantastic declaration of yours to stick around my little writing area for when I feel uncertainty and fear coming on.

  • Thank you, Chuck! Thank you for speaking your mind and not mincing words. Thank you for affirming that writing is an individual process and that each writer is unique. We all have ways that work for us and might not work worth a damn for other, so imposing something personal on someone else is just wrong.

    Your posts always motivate me to get back to my desk and write more words, no matter how tired or demotivated I am. So thank you for this post that kicked me out of my winter slump.

    *goes off to write*

  • RockOn Brother! If there’s anything I’ve learned through all this craziness it’s that every writer has their own process. And goals. Every one. Heck I write all my books in 30 days and I slave over them, every waking moment. Every one. I worry, I grind, I spend a years worth in that time, concentrated down, distilled down. The only thing I expect, is that everyone has their own process, their own grind.

    To think otherwise is pumpkin headed. Everyone is who they are and that is what makes it truly, truly great!

    A world of difference to find and experience and frankly enjoy.

    Thanks for expressing this!

  • Wow. Its douchebags like that (not you Chuck, don’t shoot!) like that pompous git who wrote the comment, that make me want to curl up into my little writing snail shell and cry into my hands (tentacles?) rocking back and forth and saying ‘I can’t do this, I’m shit. It’s too scary out there.’
    Shame on him/her/it.

  • Damn it Wendig, it’s like you live in my head.

    I got to the second paragraph of the comment and immediately thought, “Fuck you and the elitist preconceptions you rode in on.”

  • First, I have to scream “What the McFucking Fuck??” in response to that comment.

    More importantly, I have to fall on my knees for this:
    “I tried for the better part of a week to conjure a more cogent response than “fuck you,” and I got as far as “go fuck yourself.” Like, I tried to go through it once and conjure point-by-point rebuttals … but eventually my rebuttal dissolves into a gargled cry of “eat a bucket of deep-fried fucks, you squawking chicken-fucker.””

    Mr. Wendig you have NO idea how important that was for me to read. Like, literally, I’m tearing up a little rereading it. I started reading your blog because someone shared a post of yours and I was all “Wow, that guy does the most eloquent profanity ever and look it’s good writing to boot” – and to know that you, even you, can be rendered into incoherent fury by someone’s smarmy shit-smeared commentary … well, that helps, you know? Because I often feel like a failure of a writer when I’m speechless in the face of stupidity. How can I, someone who wants to be a writer and hopes to be a GOOD one, suffer this loss of language in the face of a sound crap-flinging?

    So thank you. Oh, crap’s sake, I hope you know I mean more than thank you. I feel better, and more ready, to approach the entire world as a writer, and that’s something I haven’t felt since college.

  • Each *real* novelist only releases one piece of art in a lifetime, an unfinished masterwork published only on their death, of no more than 7 perfectly polished words that strips a readers soul into its component parts before flinging each tormented segment to the far corners of the universe, leaving them in eternal misery and never able to find peace.

    Everything else is simply commercial pulp pushed out by hacks.

  • great post, yet again. I actually berate myself for being too slow when I see other authors in my publishing house producing novels faster than I can – I see my slowness as lack of knowing what the hell I am doing the way I really should at this stage of my writing life. But I have decided not to worry about writing what others want – a popular reviewer of paranormal romance didn’t like my werewolf novel because it didn’t conform to her idea of the genre. I’ve no problem with her opinion, but in the sequels I’ve kept to the same characters and faults regardless, because it’s my vision of what a werewolf is, nobody else’s. If I can do for werewolves what Watership Down did for rabbits, I’ll die a happy man.

    • Watership Down is just about the best book ever written. If you wrote something that good with werewolves, I want to read the hell out of it.
      (My publisher didn’t like my werewolf novel either. Thank goodness fantasy by definition doesn’t have to conform to the expectations of others.)

      • Oh, I’m not saying my novel(s) are near as good as Watership Down, but that’s the goal! My publisher liked it, though. My editor loved it, and I only hope they like the rest of the trilogy when I submit them in a few weeks – or months…

  • Holy Shit! I have never had the guts to just come right out and say what you have said. You give me hope. I may yet grow balls this big; and being female that could get tricky! Thank you.

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