I feel bad when a reader purchases one of my books and doesn’t like it . I would feel horrible if they actually hated it. What could be worse than that? I’ll tell you.
Have you ever read one of those books that you couldn’t remember the next day? I’m talking about one of those throwaway books to pass a rainy afternoon or a day at the beach. You read it in one sitting if you can keep your eyes open and then you immediately forget it.
Forgettable writing; that is the worst thing, even worse than bad writing. It means that the writer failed to deliver a good story or bring his characters to life. He wasted his reader’s time and money. What went wrong?
I don’t know, but I do know that it is a mistake for a writer to play it safe. If I’m writing a scene and I’m unsure how a character should react there is a great temptation to either alter the scene or not have the character react at all. I’ve just turned my character into a dull, lifeless stick figure that is more suited to a kindergarten art project than a place in my novel.
Stir the pot, take a chance, create some tension, maybe even some chaos and mayhem. Don’t play it safe; don’t be afraid of offending the reader. When I’m reading a good book I can’t turn the pages fast enough. I don’t want the story to end. When I’m reading a great book I have to take breaks because the tension is so great, the writing is so pure and intense, that it can be emotionally overwhelming. That is the book every author should try to write.
I’m not afraid to stir the pot because I know that if I do the worst that can happen won’t happen.