“We’ve Become A Herd Of Cows Mooing Niceties At Each Other”
That quote from Jeff Vandermeer’s response to an article called I Like Writing But Hate Being a Writer by Richard Bowes.
Stuff every writer should read.
In this discussion thread, Brian Lindenmuth elaborates on the article, and what he refers to Charlie Stella calling “the authorial circle jerk”. To quote:
”The mystery/crime fiction genre, in part, is being gutted from the inside out, and like an untreated infection it doesn't show any signs of slowing. We need to be honest in our assessment of the fiction being produced, putting aside all of the political bullshit, examining it from all sides, so that we can just simply say, in a defendable position, that it isn't good. Not all books are going to be good and even less are going to be great. That's not ever going to change. More importantly that's how it should be. An author should swing for the fences every time they tell a story. Even if they fall short the effort always shines through. If they don't, then they aren't worth my time.
“If the talking heads continue to foster this cult of personality then the genre is doomed to irrelevancy, or worse, oblivion. We need to stop amusing the genre to death.”
What a novel concept. Working harder, pushing the boundaries, making the effort to take risks and produce captivating, original work…
Instead of coasting off your approval rating by other authors. I raise a glass to Brian, for a passionate plea to let the genre be about more than popularity contests and cliques where recommending a work is based off liking the author, instead of great writing. Not saying there’s anything wrong with liking an author. But when we review, when we endorse with blurbs, when we recommend, may it be out of sincerity and not out of the ass-kissing that is so common. May we give some credibility back to our genre by not endorsing the most popular person but the best work.
And for something completely different, the funniest thing I've seen in a while.