Hello, Katy Lee here. I am blessed to have children who love to read. However, this past week, my daughter read a bestselling book that left her in full blown tears. When I asked her if the story was sad or if it hit a nerve, she said no. She was upset because the story didn’t go the way she thought it should. Things were left undone and confusing, and she was angry and hurt that it ended the way it had.
Now, it’s not too often that this has happened to me, but I can recall a few books flying across my room when their content upset me or left me disappointed. However, this was back before I sat down and actually learned what it took to write a book. Back before I understood authors were just ordinary, everyday people with nothing more than a desire to get the story bouncing around in their heads down on paper. And, just because they got it down didn’t mean that was the only way to write it.
So, I told my daughter this week to remember that authors are ordinary people doing an extraordinary thing, but still, are limited to what they know and have experienced. They also might not have their facts straight or might not have thought the plot through enough. Perhaps, they didn’t do enough research, or they had a time constraint to get the book out and therefore, the book lacks a finished quality, leaving readers disappointed and even distraught.
I once read a story where the heroine died on the last page. That was hard enough to handle, but what really upset me was the epilogue showed the hero meeting another woman. I was still in mourning from the page before and could not handle that. I know now, as a writer, the author might have only been trying to show the hero moved on with his life, but didn’t take into account that the readers wouldn’t be able to accept that so soon. I don’t think the author had thought that through far enough.
To take this one step further, I also told my daughter to question everything. Be the skeptic, always looking for the truth of why something is said or done. Sometimes, it is as simple as the author had an ax to grind or an agenda to push. And, just because a book is a bestseller doesn’t mean you have to follow the pack and like it. It’s okay to be a reader who is a leader.
The Unlocked Secret: My daughter has calmed down, but has yet to decide if she will read the next book in the series, so I gave her one more piece of advice. I told her if she really didn’t like the ending, she could rewrite it the way she wanted to. Many famous authors will admit that’s how they got their start as a writer. And they were just ordinary, everyday people too.