Annie Wilkes Makes a Good Point: A Lot of Writers Don’t Play Fair

A reader, responding to a note of mine that I’m working on two more sequels in the Russel Middlebrook series, posted this hilarious clip from the old movie Misery (about an insane woman who kidnaps a writer and forces him to write the book she wants).

As chance would have it, I’m literally halfway through Misery right now! (It was first a novel by Stephen King). I also just watched the movie.

Now Annie Wilkes is batshit crazy, of course. But thing is, I agree with her basic point: too many writers do things that aren’t “fair.” They cheat. And, worse, most readers and audience members don’t seem to care.

But I care! Nothing makes me madder than writers who cheat.

I suspect a lot of my readers care to.¬†For what it’s worth, I’m trying really, really hard not to cheat with these next two books! (Cause I now know what my readers will do if I do…)

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4 Responses to “Annie Wilkes Makes a Good Point: A Lot of Writers Don’t Play Fair”

  1. Amber 21 June 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    I prefer writers who kill off their characters to writers who mindlessly swoop in and save their characters from impossible situations. But I know more than a few writers who go overboard with this. I love John Saul, but over time I've conditioned myself not to get attached to any characters. It becomes really cheap after a while.

    • Brent Hartinger 25 June 2012 at 1:07 am #

      It's such a fine line between honoring readers' wishes and expectations, and also being open to wherever the story needs to go.

      I've never killed off a major character. Well, I SORT of have (in Grand & Humble).

  2. Sierra 21 June 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    I would love to see you make that face at 1:34, but, unfortunately, you've never given your readers a reason to blow up on you like that. Or maybe that's a fortunate thing? Hmmm. Haha ;D

    • Brent Hartinger 25 June 2012 at 1:07 am #

      Yes, a very fortunate thing!

      Got your great letter (didn't check my mail box for a few weeks). A response is on its way to you! :-)

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