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Donita K. Paul
Laurell K. Hamilton
Dear Negative Reader
By the way, this entire rant is one long paragraph with no breaks. Thanks, LKH. My eyes didn't hurt enough from your writing.
Dear Negative Reader, It's funny, I almost never go on the board. I think I can count on one hand the times I've seen the message board.
Perhaps this is why her board is now a "rabid fans only" board. Dissenting opinions and constructive criticism are strictly banned from her boards, as are lurkers. The general attitude: "You will have fun, or we will BAN YOU!"
I would pick tonight. I'd had a nice evening out with friends. I'd read a chapter of Trin's new Fairy Realm book to her.
I was having a nice fun evening with friends and family, and then you NEGATIVE PRUDEY-PRUDE HATERZ ruined it for me!
Then for some reason, we look at the board. I look at the board.
Well, make up your mind! Was it one person or more than one person?
... or did LKH just slip up and use the Royal "We"?
Let me say that all of you that hate the books, and have decided not to read them anymore, I am happy for you.
... said through gritted teeth, like she's talking to her ex-husband's new wife at their wedding. Then later in the night, after she's had a couple margaritas, she rips off her skirt, climbs onto the table, and starts loudly proclaiming that he will always love her first, best and always, and the bride better be ready to live a life of shame, deception and loveless misery.
I think my metaphor just ran away from me.
I know that when a book series that I read takes a turn I don't like I stop reading it.
Wait, she reads book series? She sure never mentions them.
I put it down and I walk away, and that's that.
Apparently LKH doesn't read stuff for the lulz.
It's pretty fun to read stuff for the lulz. It's like watching a MST3K episode, but you have to provide your own commentary because Crow, Tom and Mike/Joel don't give it for books. Well,
most of the time
If you're unhappy with my books, and have decided you never want to read another thing that I write; great.
If you're unhappy with my constant raping of semicolons and never want to read another run-on sentence, great!
I mean that.
I'm GLAD that paying readers are abandoning me! It means that I won't have to hear any of that icky criticism stuff!
Life is too short to read books you don't like, so if you're not having a good time, stop doing it.
Again, hail the lulz. I guess since LKH has absolutely no sense of humor, she probably doesn't understand reading for the lulz. Everything she does, particularly stuff associated with Teh Writtin Bizniss, is super serious with her.
So, she doesn't know the thrilling joy of discovering an epic fantasy with everything ripped off from JRR Tolkien and Star Wars. She doesn't know the delight of ripping a new one in a book of oversexed plotless vampire schlock (like hers). She doesn't know the joy of facepalming over the collected works of G.P. Taylor.
I'm sure there are other books out there that will make you happier than mine.
Many... many... many other books. Some of which she's tried to one-up.
Here's a quick sampling, just in "her" genre:
What the hell is taking you so long? Drop LKH's works, get thee to a library/bookstore, and only come out when you've got at LEAST a few of those books in hand. These are all authors who are mostly brilliant, a few "good but not great" ones mixed in there, and all of them actually bother to write a plot, likable characters, and something other than wall-to-wall sex scenes, filler and power-ups. Go on! The Queen of Gothicky-Darkness has given her blessing for you to find better stuff!
... still here? Okay, check 'em out later.
There are books with less sex in them, God knows.
... millions and millions of books with less sex in them.
Yeah, LKH and her rabid fans all assume that if you have a problem with her last ten books, it must be about the PRESENCE of sexual content, rather than the sexual content usurping the role of plot, characterization, plot, conflict, plot, etc. I mean, the Anita Blake books never had GOOD plots, but they used to actually try to have something happen. And now it's just vampire politics, sex, were politics, sex, magic sparkly feel-good powers, sex, Anita reflecting on how true happiness can only be achieved with a harem, sex, Anita pissing with cops, sex...
There are books that don't make you think that hard.
Of all the things I have heard about ANY of the
books, "they make me think" is not one of them. It's about a short, whiny woman who occasionally kills vampires, solves a few easy mysteries, and has sex with vampires and weres a lot. What about this makes a person think?
Books that don't push you past that comfortable envelope of the mundane.
I freely admit that pedophilia and bestiality make me uncomfortable. Especially in Suefiction. I'm not sure why it's a good thing to make people uncomfortable with beastman bonking, mob executions and brainwashing.
If you want to be comforted, don't read my books. They aren't comfortable books.
I agree. It makes me VERY uncomfortable to read about someone screaming "Fuck me while I'm tight!" as she floods her office with vagina fluids.
That still doesn't mean they're good. There are a lot of books that make me uncomfortable, but which are undeniably horrible. I've read the fucking
Eye of Argon,
which makes me feel burning stabbing pains in random parts of my body. Does not mean it's good!
They are books that push my character and me to the edge and beyond of our comfort zones.
In other words, every few books Anita works past one of her "squicks," whether it's lesbianism, virgins, sexing up kids half her age, etc.
If that's not want you want, then stop reading. Put my books away with other things that frighten and confuse or just piss you off.
.... and then take them out of the box of frightening/confusing/piss-offing stuff, because it doesn't belong there. Just chuck it on the pile of "I'm so bored I could die" books, along with bad historical romances, Anne Rice's
and the complete works of Stephenie Meyer.
I have my list of stuff like that.
I bet it's full of Christian fantasy, G-rated romances with no sex, and the latest books by her competitors.
But let me say, one thing puzzles me. When I decide not to read an author, or series again. I don't go on their message board and keep talking about the books I don't want to read.
Then again, it's pretty clear that LKH isn't a devoted fan of anything she herself didn't write, or she would know it doesn't work like that. I've drifted in and out of various fandoms, and I've seen producers, writers and musicians getting people every bit as pissed off, and having them swear off the person's future works. "I won't watch that show! I won't read that book! I won't listen to one more song!" But they still hang around forums and talk about the stuff they're not reading/watching/listening to.
Here's the thing: those ex-fans are usually still hopeful that the people in question will see the light and fix whatever is wrong. They hang around in hope that things will get better. You should start getting worried when they officially give up.
I don't say that I stopped reading at a certain book, but strangely, am still able to talk in detail about books that have come out since then, thus making people reading my post wonder how I know so many details if I haven't read the books.
Simple: we snarkers have a telepathic collective allowing us to exchange mockable stuff.
Also, LKH and her followers tend to mix up "doesn't read" with "doesn't buy, doesn't wait for it to turn up in secondhand bookstores, doesn't borrow from the library." Quite a few ex-fans get it from the library so they won't spend any money. Guess how I read this shit! I'm too poor to waste money on books just for the lulz, people!
Either A: You have read the books, and don't want to admit it. Or, B: You haven't read the books and you are taking your opinion from the posts of others who have read the books, and hated them. Those are the only choices I've been able to come up with.
Yeah, how about "the others showed you actual excerpts from the books that supported them, like Anita raping a screaming victim who begged her to stop"?
And again, LKH and her fans can't quite grasp that there is a difference between not BUYING a book and not READING a book.
If there is a more logical explanation, I can't find it.
Then again, LKH is not really the person you go to for logic.
Either you are closet readers, or you're letting others read them and report back to you like negative scouting. So you're left with an opinion based on someone else's opinion, or you are reading the books in secret.
This is what, the fourth time she's said that? GET THE FUCK ON WITH IT.
If the latter, you seem to hate yourself and me for the fact that you read the books.
.... the latter in which sentence?
And LKH should keep her day job, because her grasp of psychology is as solid as her grasp on spelling, grammar, US Marshal procedure, religion, Celtic mythology, law enforcement... I could go on forever.
I recommend you don't read the books, it will save you pain, and give you more time to read things you like. It seems a logical solution.
Yeah, this was posted when LKH was on the top of her game, earningswise. She would never say this now that her sales are slipping like a kitten on a hockey puck.
Let this post also put to rest the idea that I don't know that a small minority, albeit a loud minority, hates my series.
I love how she's trying SO hard to emphasize that the vast majority of readers are delighted with her books.
Here's a graph showing LKH's sales from 2003 to 2010. LKH's rant came in 2006, around the time that her sales peaked. I wonder if she still thinks the unhappy readers are a MINORITY.
I've known that for awhile.
I just chose to completely ignore all of their points, like "There's no plot in this book" or "JC's balls are gone" or "She's crapping on Richard because she based her ex-husband on him."
Like the first time someone stood in line for hours at a signing, smiled at me, and had me sign the book, then said to my face, "I hated this book. I hate what you've done with the series."
I like this person. They have cojones. Big brass cojones with bells.
When I ask, "Why do you read the books then?" Answer, "I keep hoping they'll get good again."
So basically they say exactly what I said above. They once loved the books, and now they just want them to stop sucking.
So does this moment make any impact on LKH? Does she acknowledge that this person WANTS to enjoy her books, but is being prevented from doing so? Does she wonder how many disgusted ex-fans are buying her books only in the hopes that they are going to improve, and that the suckiness is just a phase she's going through?
Nope! She doesn't give one shit.
But strangely, having someone say to your face, that they hate your books and at least twice, that they hate you stand out in our minds.
And the hundreds of negative amazon reviews just don't register.
Since I wouldn't stand in line for hours to tell someone I loved their work, the fact that people stand in line for hours to tell me they hate my work, just puzzles the hell out of me. I don't get it guys. I'm not going to get it.
I think we all know that you don't get it, and you won't get it, because you don't WANT to get it. You had it explained to you, and you brushed it off.
And the fact that they stood in line for awhile (I think "hours" is an exaggeration; this woman isn't JK Rowling) just shows how much LKH has pissed them off.
I finally realized that I'm not going to understand this noisy, unpleasant minority of my fans. Because you are fans. Only fans would spend this much time and energy on anything.
By that logic, the MST3K guys are the world's biggest fans of horrible movies, because they devoted an entire long-running TV series to creating robot puppets, sets, and spending countless hours writing jokes about them. And the people of
That Guy With The Glasses
are also huge fans of
Beastmaster 2, Batman and Robin
, the Asylum and all manner of horrible bad ridiculous movie/music/TV/comics/books.
Why? Because they MUST be fans if they spend that much time and energy on anything! LOGIC!
It's a strange kind of fan, a negative fan, but you spend so much time and energy hating and complaining that some part of you must love the hate and complaining.
Hey, no hatin' on the snark. Snark is a time-honored and much-beloved way of amusing oneself and other people. It is a sacred duty!
And maybe if LKH were a little snarkier and less oversensitive, her books wouldn't suck as much,
It's the only explanation I've been able to come up with. But I don't really understand.
Uh, just because you have a really limited imagination and throw out anything that makes you uncomfortable doesn't mean this is the ONLY answer.
And if you don't think you are the minority, well, sorry, guys but you are. I have the sales figures to prove it. Each book's sales are more than the last.
I love the incredible smugness of this comment, because when she was written, the books were indeed on the upturn. However, the book that came out that year was her PEAK. Her next book was a drop. So was the next. And the next. And the next. The sales for her last book were less than half of the one in 2006.
So yeah, she was feeling full of herself, and thought that it would never end. I wonder if she now wishes she hadn't been quite so smug and confident, since the "minority" is now so very large.
I guess LKH never heard that good writing is irreplaceable, and cheap titillation and Mary Sues are a dime a dozen. While shitty books command large sales, one shitty series can always be replaced by another. Guess what was on the rise as HER sales started sliding!
That's right, the similarly repulsive Stephenie Meyer's sales went up as LKH's went down. Now the market is clogged with vampire/werewolf stories focusing on unattractive, morally bereft heroines who just want to bonk lots of men. Basically, there are lots of other people doing the same crap that LKH has done, so why bother sticking faithfully to just her books?
The vast majority of people standing in line love the books, love the series, and tell us so.
... of COURSE they do. The vast majority of people disgusted with her books probably just let the dog chew on them, and don't bother with much more.
Some people even ask for more police procedural. I want more, too.
... so how come she doesn't write more?
And yes, I know
was allegedly about hunting a serial killer. But about five minutes was actually spent on the crime. The rest of the time, it was Anita having sex or causing orgasms, or pissing with the local SWAT team.
If the person asks nicely, not rudely, or in that tone that seems to imply if I don't do what they want the series is doomed to failure, I listen.
If you ask for something I like, and don't imply that ANYTHING could possibly be wrong with my glorious artistic arty art, I will totally listen to you! If you dare to suggest that I am not the pinnacle of literature, I shall ignore you from my lofty perch of bestsellerdom!
The arduer is a pain in my, and Anita's butt, too.
... so why the fuck did you write it in? Oh yeah, it's so you can write repeated sex scenes about long-haired anime men with girl faces and giant schlongs. How annoying.
But I believe in my world.
... and what the hell does that mean? Does it mean she thinks it's real?
I've done this major metaphysical event. I won't just 'fix it' because it's hard to write around.
Of course, LKH's motives are entirely based on her artistic integrity! It has nothing to do with her fetish for long-haired girly-faced men with enormous schlongs, and her desire to have a giant harem whose only interest is in saying "Yes, you're so wonderful, and always right!" It's all about the art.
And I'd like to mention that LKH doesn't really sweat "I've done this, so I won't backtrack!" In the book she released that year,
one of the few things that happened besides sex was that Anita gave her permission for JC and Asher to have sex. They had sex offscreen in the next book. The book after THAT, suddenly they were back to "No, you can't even hold hands, because gay stuff is icky!"
And then there's the MOAD, where LKH introduced her as an evil goddess of evil evilness... and then eventually decided, "Hey, this is hard to write about. I'm tired of this" and wrote her out in a SINGLE CHAPTER of Anita sucking away her power like a kid with a shake. But she believes in her world! Believe it! PLEASE!
But the arduer is moving along.
... in case nobody's noticed, she misspelled "ardeur." Yes, she misspelled a word she made into the center of her entire series. And she misspells it for this entire blog.
I've got my fix in mind, but it's logical, not something that's merely convenient, or because some people hate it.
Yeah, her "fix" was to have Anita decide in
that the ardeur was actually TRUE LOVE. The only response any readers gave was hysterical laughter, and a list of all the ways in which this buttraped continuity. So she kind of dropped her "fix."
But the arduer is not going away.
I'll show all of you! I'm going to stick to my ardooooooor no matter what!
If that's what you guys are wanting, then it ain't happening. Leave now, because more arduer awaits.
Nah, I'd rather stick around and make fun of the ardeur... I mean, the "arduer." (I pronounced "I'd do 'er")
The arduer is evolving, as are Anita's powers, but I don't see the arduer going poof.
And by "evolving," she means that she's desperately trying to come up with some justification for it being in the series, aside from a magic wish-fulfillment roofie.
As for the people who keep suggesting that I simply start killing characters because Anita has too many men in her life . . . The characters aren't real to you.
No. They're not. Because they AREN'T REAL. If they WERE real to me, I would
laugh hysterically because of how funny they are.
seek medical help.
try to find out if the
are ALSO real to me, because I'd rather see that in my hallucinations.
They are real to me, and to a lot of other people.
We are all being given medication by the appropriate professionals.
I, and a lot of readers, would feel an emotional loss if some of these guys died.
I felt an emotional loss when Boromir died. Doesn't mean that he didn't need to die for the sake of the story.
Same with a lot of other characters: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Kisten, the Fourth and Fifth and Tenth Doctors, Aerith, Morgan, Dumbledore, and that chick who was in love with Martin the Warrior.
Obviously, you, negative reader, do not feel anything for the people you would urge me to destroy.
I certainly don't anymore, because whatever hints of personality they have had been systematically smothered so they can join the brainwashed harem brigade.
I am sorry you do not love them, or at least like them, as I do.
I am sorry that the border between reality and fantasy has not been blurred so you can obsess on men who not only don't exist, but would not in real life.
I have failed as a writer that you could kill them, and feel nothing.
Yes, you have failed. I like to like the characters of the series I read. I enjoy an emotional connection with my fiction. I'm not getting that from LKH's books - I'm getting a faint feeling of disgust that all these POTENTIALLY awesome characters (a chessmaster, a Phantom, a VIKING VAMPIRE) are reduced to a bunch of ball-less cheerleaders.
I am serious. I WANT to actually give a shit about these characters. But LKH makes it impossible.
There are series out there that have many fewer characters. Go read them.
Uh, lady, it's not the number of characters in your series. It's that you try to include ALL of them, and most of them don't have ANY personal qualities at all. Jim Butcher's series has
even more characters than yours
, but they aren't all sexy wilting Barbies lusting after Harry, so it's more INTERESTING.
There are series out there that it's obvious the writer sees the character only as a plot device, a means to an end.
I hate to break it to you, lady, but books don't exist for the WRITER'S sake. The writer is supposed to be entertaining the READERS. So, YES, characters SHOULD be plot devices - they should not just BE there to be there, they should be there because they actually have a purpose! Which is the way YOU write.
Also, I'm pretty sure there's a middle zone between, "I care nothing for my characters; they are mere pawns for my PLOT!" and "MY CHARACTERS ARE MY BEST FRIENDS I LOVE THEM ALL!"
Go read those people, and you and that kind of writer can have a good, non threatening time.
Heh, that's the first time in my entire life that I've been told that character-killing fiction is NON-THREATENING. Normally that kind is considered MORE threatening to timid readers than books where you KNOW nobody you give a shit about will die.
You can read about people that the writer could and does kill with little or no remorse.
And then I can appreciate the author's ability to make me give a shit, the delicate handling of the character's death and its aftermath, and wonder how this character's death will impact everybody else in the series. And then I can treasure the remaining characters and their development because I know that there is a chance that they'll die.
Yeah. Guess what those books have in common! They're better than LKH's!
But I am not that kind of writer. I don't enjoy reading that kind of writer, so I don't write that way.
Well, good for you. But while there are authors who can pull off the "never killing protagonists" thing
even if the hero has a giant gaping hole through his torso
, you need to at least make people FEAR that something bad might happen to them. Patting your reader on the hand and telling them, "There there, nothing bad will EVER happen to my treasured little darlings!" just destroys ALL and ANY sense of suspense.
I mean, there are a LOT of series where the major characters don't die. A LOT of them. Sometimes it even comes as a surprise that a seemingly doomed character DOESN'T die. Guess what: I'm not slavering for people to die in those series too!
Okay, LKH, you wanna know why people would ever want you to thin the herd? You know why people want you to reduce the number of people in your series? Well, there are two reasons:
You added a bunch of characters a few books before this who add FUCK-ALL to the story. I am serious. Let's see, how about Byron the gay stripper who appeared just so he could pork Anita and then vanished? How about Wicked and Truth, who exist just to be your fantasy versions of Legolas and Aragorn? How about London, who appeared just so Anita could rape him? How about Requiem, who quotes poetry and just sort of fades away?
ALL OF THEM ARE THE SAME. I mean, the primary cast she "loves" has zero children, maybe TWO butch women... and dozens and dozens of pretty delicate-featured anime-haired men who are just DYING to serve/sex/worship Anita.
I mean, this is not the fucking
, where we have everything from kickass housewives to Mafia whores, Archives to archangels, vampires to bartenders, cops to necromancers, etc. Even the PETS have personality and individuality. LKH does not give her imaginary men any individuality, because they are all xeroxed from the same molds, with maybe a tiny variation from one to the next.
I mean, Nathaniel + giant penis = Micah,
Jean-Clade + Phantom scars = Asher.
Pretty man + sexual trauma = any man in this series
It feels like you're standing in a school gym entirely filled with naked mannequins!
"I am a unique individual, just like everyone else!"
So here's a news flash: people don't like reading ANY books where all the characters are alike. Yes, I'm sure they all seem like wonderful individuals to YOU, but they don't to the readers. And since the readers are the ones plunking down money, we would either like FEWER of these completely bland interchangeable characters, or we would like you to give them some characteristics beyond being pretty, having silly hair, and having been sexually abused.
My characters are real to me in a way that makes me miss them.
Does anyone else wonder if LKH is the writer version of
Drop Dead Fred
? Like she has a vast army of psychotic imaginary friends?
For God's sake, I'll be in the mall and see something, and go, "Oh, it's the perfect gift for (fill in the blank)." I've been in line with the present in my hand, before I go, "Wait, these are make believe people. I can't buy them a Christmas present."
Seriously. GET THIS WOMAN SOME MEDS. She's clearly mentally ill, because it is not a charming eccentricity to be unable to tell fantasy apart from reality. Not while awake, anyway.
I can only wonder how long it will be until she murders someone by stabbing them through the chest with a chair leg and hacking at their head with a machete. In court, she'll be snotty and arrogant, because she KNOWS she's a federal marshal/vampire executioner, and Jean-Claude will mince in any moment to tell everyone that "ma petite" is only practical, not a murderer.
I guess I could, but there's no way to give it to them. They aren't THAT real.
And I'm sure every dark, lonely night of angsty darkness, she weeps bitterly until the cold heartless dawn.
But they are real enough that I see things that make me think of them in the way you think of a boyfriend or a husband, or a best friend.
YOUR WRITING IS SUPPOSED TO BE FOR THE READERS. The characters should exist to entertain the reader and serve their purpose in the plot, not to be stuffed animals for the author.
To suggest that I just start killing some of them, to make things easier to write and more comfortable for you, negative reader, to read, is sort of well, you put in the word. I can think of several, but you choose. You choose with this understanding.
Hmm, what word.... "smart"? "Constructive"? "A genuine attempt to fix this trainwreck of a series"?
Yeah, she just wimped out. If you're gonna rant incoherently at your readers, at least have the guts to insult them openly instead of just implying it.
And yeah, I STILL don't see why LKH's sick obsession with her fictional characters should convince ME that her vast cast of naked mannequins is a good thing and should never be thinned. So it would make her sad. Boo hoo. Bad fiction makes ME sad.
The holidays are only just past. Think back to the moment you stood in line, or saw in the window, that perfect gift. The one that you knew would make someone smile. That gift you knew, you just knew, would light their faces up. Remember how warm and happy it made you to find that present. Remember the anticipation of the joy it would bring the person you care about?
... no, actually I don't. Because I'm broke, and the best presents for people I know are ones I can't afford.
Now, remember that I've done the same thing for many of the characters you would have me kill. They aren't real, but sometimes they feel real to me.
... except that you CAN'T bring a smile to their faces, and you CAN'T anticipate joy they will feel, and you can't see their faces light up. Because they AREN'T real.
And since they're not real, her insistence that killing off of her fictional bishies is comparable to PEOPLE KILLING THEIR LOVED ONES just sounds fucking insane.
If that level of involvement with imaginary friends seems crazy to you, well, then I can't explain it.
Neither can Stephenie Meyer. She also talks about her "imaginary friends."
You either understand that the biggest disappoint some years is that I can't walk into the other room and hand that imaginary person a present that I know they would love.
"And the other biggest disappointment is that they can't thank me by plugging up various orifices with their soda-bottle penii."
If that is the biggest disappointment in your life, then... congratulations, you obviously have a ridiculously cushy and sheltered life.
I wouldn't know what to do with most of my characters for real, twenty-four seven, but sometimes I, like the positive fans, wish they were real in a way that mere imagination cannot make them.
"And that sometimes is when I'm feeling hornier than usual!"
Maybe you, my negative reader, did not understand how I feel about them.
Nope. I don't. And I pray to God that I never, ever, EVER do understand.
I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. You didn't understand that they are real to me.
Nope. Before reading this, I did not. And yet it makes NO DIFFERENCE, because "the characters are REAL to me!" is not an acceptable excuse for shitty writing and clinging to useless characters.
Or maybe this will not move you, maybe you do not feel for the loneliness of the vampires that have not known love for centuries.
No, I don't. And here is why:
You're a bad writer.
Vampires are not real, so I don't feel for them.
I doubt that someone would go for centuries without knowing love.
That would only happen in someone's crappy Mary Sue fantasy.
Maybe you do not feel for Anita's torment as she's pushed further and further outside her comfort zones.
You don't feel anything for Anita's deep, throbbing pain as she has sex with fifteen pretty men! You don't know her TORMENT!
Maybe you do not feel any of that.
No. I don't. Because I'm not PSYCHO.
If you don't feel it, then I have failed you as a writer. I am sorry for that. If you do not feel the touch of my characters, the emotional pain, the emotional triumphs, then I have failed you.
This is the first halfway sane thing she has said in the whole blog. Yes, she has failed as a writer, because she has NOT made us give a shit. About the characters, the "plot," or anything else about it.
You should stop reading me. My writing does not weave magic for you. I am sorry. Go, with my blessing, but do please go. I have done my best for fourteen books, and it is not good enough for you. I cannot reach you.
... and just like that, the sanity leaves with no forwarding address.
"Go away! All you meanies who aren't hallucinating about the realness of my bishies and feeeeeeeling their pain, GET LOST!"
Note that when her writing fails to make people give a shit, her first instinct is to grandioselly say, "Go, depart from me! I am unworthy!" and make a big melodramatic fuss...
... instead of deciding to TRY HARDER.
LKH doesn't seem to quite understand how this works. If you read the first book in a series, and it doesn't grab you, you quit. If you read the first ten books in a series and it DOES grab you.... and then the author screws it up... that does NOT mean that you are "unreachable" by that author. It means the author has screwed up.
In other words: "It's because of YOU! I'm doing my best! I can't POSSIBLY make books that entertain my readers, even though I managed to do that for several years!"
In other words, another passive-aggressive faux-humble whine.
You can imagine LKH saying this in a dramatic grande dame voice, fluttering a lace hanky and resting on a chaise.
It must be some failing in the writing, in me, but whatever the cause it does not speak to you.
Yes, it is, and it doesn't. But you're not going to try to FIX that failing by reintroducing plot, character development, a heroine who isn't eviller than most villains... you're just going to bleat about how people are mean to you.
Go, and find someone who does speak to you. Someone who's characters are plot devices, so the books are neat, understandable, clinical, and utterly organized.
"Go on, Evil Haterz! Find another writer who writes PLOT, and CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT! Find a writer who only introduces characters when they're NECESSARY instead of having them appear randomly for no reason! Go find a writer who actually makes you give a shit instead of just chronicling her wet dreams! You DESERVE such horrible cold books!"
My books are logical, to me, understandable to the vast majority of my readers,
Who cares if they're logical to YOU? They should be logical to the READERS. You know, the people who PAY for them.
And trust me, LKH, nobody has ANY trouble understanding your books. They're not complicated or deep.
In fact, anyone who has read them - whether they like them or not - can understand perfectly well what they're about. They are about
how you desperately want to bang dozens of girly anime men with knee-length hair.
how you want to have a dangerous, badass job instead of being a writer in suburbia.
how you want to be respected by the kind of macho misogynist pricks that you wish you were, which you can't get as a writer in suburbia.
how you want to have Mafia-like dictatoresque power instead of being a writer in suburbia.
how you want to have dozens, nay, hundreds of people depending on you and revering you as a sort of mother-sex-goddess, so they can never ever leave you unless you cast them out.
See? It's not hard to understand.
but they are not neat, they are not utterly organized or clinical.
They do not have plot, they do not have character development, and half the time nothing happens.
I'll take utterly organized and clinical. I'll get back to you, since I'm busy reading
Death on the Nile.
They are big, messy books, a lot like life.
No, life is a lot more organized and logical than the AB books. In life, there are actual consequences to your actions; people don't just FORGET off horrible things you do; rage, jealousy and nastiness are not considered charming virtues; and your vagina cannot be simultaneously tight and cavernous enough to handle Micah's Monstrous Member.
I wish you luck out there finding a writer that speaks to you. If we all liked the same kind of writer we'd all read the same books, and we don't.
Some people LIKE a book with no plot, character development, or anything much going on except Mary Sue fantasies. It's just a different kind of literature! Don't judge!
So go out there, find someone you like better, read them. You will be happier. I want all my readers to be happy, so go be happy. Enjoy the rest of your life. I mean that.
Again, I doubt LKH would say that now her sales are drooping.
And if you're going to devote an entire blog to blathering about the "negative readers" and what cold unfeeling people they are, please don't play the suffering saint.
Especially when it benefits YOU to get rid of your "negative readers," since it means you don't have to deal with constructive criticism or pressure to write something, you know, GOOD.
I'll give you guys a few minutes to stop reading this, or to go into another room.
comes back in
Wait, why the hell am I doing what SHE wants?
I'll give you a few minutes, before I talk to the positive readers that are staying.
Sorry lady, I AM staying. I'm a negative, critical person, and I'm staying.
If you are still a negative reader, please leave. Please do not read beyond this point. Warning, warning, warning. The next bit of this message is for the positive people.
Lady, you ain't the boss of me. I'm not leaving, okay? You can graciously wave your hand and command me to never read your books again, but I don't have to do as you want.
I'm negative, and I'm here to stay. And no amount of condescending asshattery will change that.
For the people who love my characters, or at least don't hate them.
For the people who feel how REAL my fictional creations are! For people who bleed blood of bloodiness whenever they whine about their traumatic pasts! For the people who don't expect me to ever improve!
Negative readers, are you gone? Are they gone? Did they leave? So hard to tell online.
Nope. Never will be, either.
And honestly, I don't think anyone, positive or negative, actually read this far. Like I said, no paragraph breaks. This is just one LOOOOONNNGGG HUUUUUGEEEE RAMBLING paragraph. It's like LKH's version of Beat writing.
Okay, now it's just us positive people. Yea!
Us positive people who have a major emotional crisis because thirty years ago our grannies said something mean to us! We're so positive and happy!
For those who are positive people, and are continuing to read the Anita series, here are hints about THE HARLEQUIN.
And what about the negative people who are continuing to read the Anita series because they aren't allowing Her Majesty to banish them?
First, Edward is in the book in a major way.
Even better: so is his hawt jailbait stepson-to-be!
Second, so is Olaf. Yeah, serial killer guy is back.
And of course, he's fawning over Anita's awesomeness.
Anita ends up feeding full blown arduer on three characters she's never been with before. And she, and I, are okay with them.
We don't mind that Anita has to rape hundreds of people for the sake of two "sweeties." We're okay with mass rape! It's fine with us!
Some of the stuff in DANSE MACABRE was over the edge of whatever for both her and me.
There was GAY SEX in that book! It was simply TOO MUCH for Anita/LKH's delicate sensibilities.
Anita is really, really, looking forward to having more control over the arduer.
... and by that, LKH means that she'll stop having emergency orgies, and start having RAPE ORGIES. And for the four books after this one, she will continue to have pretty werebishies follow her around because she's too busy and tough to EAT A FUCKING SANDWICH.
Sandwiches: They prevent orgies.
I can't tell you who the three characters are without giving too much plot away, sorry.
Spoiler: she has sex with Donovan and Rafael (and rapes their entire populations) and has lesbian dream sex with Belle Morte. These are all "ar-doo-er" power-sucks, so it doesn't really have anything to do with the "plot."
I'll ask Darla and Jon if there's a way to hint without spoiling it. I am sooo bad at
One of the wereanimal groups will betray Jean-Claude, and Anita.
Just like Charles betrayed me by refusing to join my harem! HOW DARE HE STAY WITH HIS WIFE AND FAMILY!
Seriously, the "betrayal" sounds very dramatic, except it turns out that all it takes to "betray" Anita is to say that you won't have sex with her, and she'll order you killed on the spot. Free will? Pshaw!
Marmee Noir will be back.
... but she won't do anything interesting. Again.
Belle Morte makes a guest appearance that caught me, and Anita by surprise.
It allowed LKH to write about lesbian sex between two women who look just like her, AND mention her penis envy. Freud's head would explode if he met this woman.
Nathaniel will be asking Anita to step up to bat for their relationship. What does that mean? Let's just say that what Nathaniel wants out of a relationship and what Anita wants out of one, may not match.
And when that happens, one of the very real possibilities is that you will have to part ways as romantic partners. In real life. Except in the AB series, because Anita would never allow any of her boytoys to leave her just because he feels sexually and emotionally unfulfilled.
Relationships are all about compromise.
... so long as you don't want equality, honesty or something that makes Anita feel uncomfortable.
I know, I know, Anita doesn't compromise, but she's trying. She really is.
And by that, LKH means she'll toss in a one-off line at the end of the book, and will never mention it again.
The Church of Eternal Life is back on stage. Malcolm is coming to Anita and Jean-Claude for help. You know he must be desperate to come to them, and he is.
You'd have to be, since the only kind of protection Anita will give you is the kind that mafia dons do. Sure, you might be "protected," but you also belong to them.
We learn what happens to bad little vampires when the council decides to act.
All of their Dresden Files books are immediately taken away.
You didn't really think they did their own dirty work, did you?
Why not? Some of them have come to town before. Or did LKH forget her own past plots again?
Asher gets to show there's a reason beyond sentimentality that he is Jean-Claude's second in command.
He gets to sit in the closet and make phone calls. In other words, he's a glorified secretary.
We finally get to talk to Edward about his domestic arrangements in more detail.
We finally find out why he has that yak in the basement, and how come the Martians are bunking in the spare room.
Is he, or isn't he?
Will he, or won't he?
... run for president?
... become a professional hen-teaser?
Are those enough hints? Are there too many?
NO! I still don't know what the fuck you're talking about.
I hope it whetted your appetite, but didn't drive you nuts not knowing exactly what I'm referring to.
No, you didn't whet my appetite. I am actually feeling LESS inclined to read
because you played "random generic questions" with my head. GO AWAY.
There's so much else I could put down, but I'm not sure I could do it without giving too much away.
Why bother fretting? It's not like your books have a plot anymore anyway!
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