There are a lot of stories out there. There are the big hits that stick through the ages, like The Great Gatsby or Gone With the Wind. But then there are also the ones at the bottom of the pyramid, the thousands upon thousands of books, novellas, short stories, and other such fiction that come and go without anyone noticing.
And, like books, there are many different types of authors. There’s the one-hit wonder, who right off the bat writes a hit story and then never goes back (J.K. Rowling for example, though I’m sure she’ll write something more eventually). Then there are the struggling authors, who work for years just to get one book on the shelves, and keep writing, but somehow never make it to the big time. And then the author everyone’s heard of, simply because he or she has written so many books even they can’t remember the names of them all. (I once heard an interview with one where he could not even recall the name of his most recent novel.)
But, through every genre and type of book, through every level of fame, even down to the lowliest books whose only publicity is just awful reviews, there is one thing that authors just never do:
You never hear an author go out on record and say, “I’m sorry for writing my novel. It’s terrible, I know. I’m recalling it, I won’t do it again, end of story.” No. It isn’t done.
And do you know why, in my opinion, it isn’t done?
Because the stories are not wrong. If an author has a story in their head, they go out and they write it down and they get it published. It doesn’t matter what it is. The author knows that this is what they wanted to write. It isn’t at all their fault when the book doesn’t sell, or when it gets bad reviews, or when entire hater websites are set up.
Sure, the public may not like the book. But writers don’t write for the readers. Well, yes, to a certain extent, it has to give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside when someone likes what you’ve written. But the writers, deep down, are writing for the writers. For themselves. Because they want to see their story in print, because they, at least, know it’s good.
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t apologize for anything. After all, new editions fixing grammar or continuity mistakes is a form of apology, at least in my eyes. But that’s because the author doesn’t intend those mistakes. They get in the way of the narrative, anyway.
I’m saying that the concrete thing, the thing that deserves no apology, is that narrative. The story, the plot, whatever you should choose to call it. And especially your core.
So, dear readers, I’m guess what I’m trying to say is never be ashamed of what you’ve written. When it comes down to it, really, who cares about the haters?
Some of the Hunger Games fandom is reaching out to other fans about the recent famine in Somalia and other parts of Africa. Hunger Is NOT A Game is a new initiative to provide food for starving families in refugee camps. It’s really awesome that these people are connecting the series and the fandom to a real-life situation that we can all help with. So check out the site!