I want to comment on a situation that recently happened to Charlaine Harris. Some of you might know her as the author of the Southern Vampire Mysteries, also known as the Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries, of which the HBO series True Blood is loosely based on.
The last novel in the series, Dead Ever After is slated to come out next week. However, some douchebag not only pirated an early copy and put it on the web, he spoiled the ending, revealing who Sookie ends up with in her love triangle (quadrangle, dodecangle, etc).
Since then, there has been a shitblizzard of insults, curses, and death threats aimed at Harris. Her Facebook fan page
is so riddled with filth that after reading it, I had to go for an AIDS test.
The general complaint among the butthurt is that they DESERVED a certain ending. They DEMANDED it and she didn’t deliver.
I’m not sure what bothers me more: the piracy, which has destroyed the publishing industry and made writing a 20K a year business, or the butthurt fans demanded the ending that they want. Let me make it easy on you. FUCK YOU! Writers are not your bitches! They don’t owe you shit!
The story belongs to the writer and only the writer. They are the driver, and the reader is either along for the ride, or gets out of the car. A writer does not write because he wants money, or because he wants to please you. A writer writes because he has a voice inside of him that needs to be heard. The voice is the only one that a writer has to listen to, not editors and not fans. Once you stop listening to that voice, you have sold out, there is no reason to continue writing.
To those that didn’t like the ending, write some fanfiction and end it the way that you want. Don’t blame the writer for following her voice.
Yeah. I can’t agree with you on this one. A writer’s writing only belongs to her until the moment it is shared, published, put out there. The shitty thing about this situation is how so-called fans of Harris treated her when they found out the “spoiler.” I have a hard time feeling too much sympathy though for someone like Harris who has made her cash on the licensing when it comes to piracy. I doubt it will have much effect on her income in the long run.
I also think it is romanticizing writers and writing to assume they all have the same relationship to their craft.
As for piracy killing publishing, I think the internet was just the deathblow to an already dying industry – and I am including “legitimate” online access to information as well. I don’t think book piracy is as prevalent as let’s say music or movie piracy b/c let’s face it, few people read. Anyway, people tend to only read a book once, so borrowing from a friend or the library is a lot easier than pirating most of the time.
Writing is a 20k a year job to the few lucky ones (and there are some even fewer even luckier ones that make more than that). I don’t think you can put that on piracy, you can put that on the way publishing has long worked.