Tuesday, July 12, 2011

If you don't believe writing success is luck

I used to get really annoyed when J.A. Konrath simplified all writing success to luck. Of course, that luck has to be born on the back of hard work, because without the work, your timing doesn't matter a bit. And I've slowly come to believe luck plays a huge role in breaking through. I wish my humble success was due to talent, but it's not. A little work, a lot of timing.

You win, Joe. Now I am off to write my Harry Pottermore series under the pen name Steven King.###

11 comments:

Jamie A. said...

Ha Ha, Luv it....

A.P. Fuchs said...

Then you wonder where that leaves the rest of us who work our butts off and have sacrificed everything for our careers.

Yes, luck--fluke, chance--is, sadly, one of the biggest factors in a writer's success. Part of me wishes readers knew that, a part me is glad they're spared that ugly truth.

See ya, "Steven."

John G. Hartness said...

wow. Just - wow. And he reviews his own books and gives himself five stars, of course.

author Scott Nicholson said...

The sword of freedom cuts two ways...

author Scott Nicholson said...

AP, why is it sad? It kind of adds to the fun if you accept that life has never been fair, not in any area. Why should writing be any different? Heck, just sliding out of the womb is nothing but one big spin of the cosmic roulette.

Keith said...

Yikes! Colons, semi-colons, "Drug Cartel's"... it's frightening! I would never dream of buying a book with a description like that.

It's doubly frightening that people ARE buying it, proving that many readers either don't care about grammar ("Just as long as the story's good"), or genuinely can't differentiate between good and bad writing.

And how cheap can this author get, throwing in a famous name just to sell copies? I don't really understand the mentality of selling your book by any (underhand) means necessary just to get high up the charts. One day all this will bite the author in the ass; he'll be known as the author who managed to sell a million copies of poorly written trash.

But then, he probably won't care because he'll be rich. *Fume*

Moses Siregar III said...

Hahaha.

Btw, the idea that you work "a little" is also laugh worthy :-)

author Scott Nicholson said...

Keith, I believe his "John Locke series" predated the New John Locke, because I remember seeing them last year when the indie thing was new. No, he won't sell a million copies. Incidentally, Amazon stopped allowing authors to use other author names in their book titles after Voss and Edwards used it and got to the top of Amazon UK. But in this case, I don't think they can make him give up his character name in any way (and it's not distinctive enough to be trademarked).

Moses, people out there are really working--I used to dig ditches in the rain while standing in raw sewer. It is hard for me to consider writing "work"!

author Scott Nicholson said...

Oh, and Keith, do you think there's any chance that someone who can't spin a coherent paragraph can string together 300 readable pages in a pleasing narrative arc? I don't see any way a story written at that level can be "good."

Then again, I am sure there are people out there right now laughing at MY writing, so that's how it rolls...

A.P. Fuchs said...

It's sad because, despite life not being fair, it seems entertainment is one of the few industries where luck makes a career versus good old-fashioned hard work.

My two cents, anyway.

author Scott Nicholson said...

Edited. I don't need the risk of personality conflict with the author. Yes, it's a lot of luck. Hard work helps, and is the part you can control.