Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Writers Don't Owe Us Anything

 Writers don't owe us anything.

(Louder, for the people at the back!)

At the end of the day, it's their story. Their world. Their characters. So maybe they killed off your favourite character, threw someone across the moral event horizon, or gave the "wrong" couple a happy ending. Maybe you're unhappy with the way a character is written, disagree with how a plot point was handled, or thought the sequel was apocalyptically bad. You're perfectly entitled to your opinion. What you're not entitled to do is attack the writer.

You see it on every social media platform at some point, the idea that the writer should cater to our every whim. That we're entitled to complain when they don't. Newsflash. We're entitled to Jack squat. 

You buy the book. You read the book. You enjoy it, or you don't. Either way, you stay in your lane. Write your bad review, moan about it as much as you like, but don't direct it at the writer. Don't send them hate just because you dislike the direction they took your favourite character, their character, in. Don't tweet at them or direct message them. It's the equivalent of throwing a paddy in the middle of a supermarket because somebody told you you couldn't have a toy. Don't issue a call to arms for people who haven't even read the book to give it one star on Goodreads (and yes, I really have seen this, on Tumblr, in response to Half Lost). There are actually people out there who won't buy books that have low ratings, so dragging the rating down will have real life repercussions. It'd be like Twilight fans starting a real life war over Team Edward and Team Jacob.

A good book will make you feel. It'll upset you, make you smile, turn you bright red with rage. What would be the point of it if it didn't? You're entitled to your emotions, but that's it.

(Whilst we're here, this goes for ALL creators. Writers. Artists. Actors. Voice actors. They're not their characters - just because they write a serial killer, or they play one on TV, that doesn't mean that they are one in real life - and some of them won't necessarily have any power over the plot. Writers do, obviously, but a lot of actors won't even see the script until it's finalised. Their opinions might be taken into account, but they're unlikely to have final say in who their character ends up with, or if they betray the main cast. It's not their fault, so STOP YELLING AT THEM ABOUT IT ALREADY.)

Finally, something we agree on.

If you really don't like the book, the show, or the film, then put it down. Turn it off. Move on. 

Rant over.

If you have anything to add, drop it in the comments.