I…I did it again.
A week ago, I spent over an hour discussing with my sister how the Heroes of Olympus series doesn’t take itself seriously enough. How it felt like a really cheap shot at a sequel series written without any sort of plan and instead pandering to fans.
And going through my drafts on WordPress, I found my draft for a review of Go Set a Watchman, which claimed that the novel felt more like an alternate universe fanfic than a sequel or even companion novel.
And then, this happened:
You heard right. A gender-bent rewrite of Twilight by none other than Stephanie Meyer herself.
And if that wasn’t enough, who comes around again but RICK RIORDAN with the following announcement:
Yes, Rick, I-don’t-write-epilogues-but-I-do-write-sequel-series Riordan.
And don’t get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed Son of Neptune and Mark of Athena. I thought that Go Set a Watchman was fairly provoking. And while I don’t think I’m going to read Life and Death (because, let’s be honest, NO), I’m actually eager to read Trials of Apollo (despite my hatred for the poor set up in The Blood of Olympus) because Rick promises that we see everyone again and I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO LEO.
I know I’ve written about when authors should give up on a series (glares pointedly at Maximum Ride). But there has to be a limit, right?
JK Rowling knew when to stop, despite her readiness to write at least three more books. Scott Westerfeld ended Leviathan before the war actually ended. Daughter of Smoke and Bone technically doesn’t have an ending.
I think the sign of a good writer is to know when to stop. That, and to know that after publishing, the series should be able to stand the test of criticism. (I’m mostly talking about Life and Death, which Stephenie Meyer is writing in order to prove that Bella is not some hopeless heroine by switching her gender…yeah, I still don’t see the logic behind that.)
But, where is the line drawn? When does a book no longer feel like a book and instead like fanfiction?
For that matter, what makes something sound like fanfiction other than not being the canon story? Is it amateur writing? Is it the plot line? The strange character development?
Am I the only one who feels this way? Let me know in comments!