Friday, July 28, 2006

The Writer War

When you're a teenager, and a writer, you are faced with many stereotypes and obstacles. Several of these include having to endure the fact that you are young and your style has not matured, fighting the generalization that teenage writers compose only bad poetry, and reading the bad poetry of your less than accomplished friends.

But for an online writer, your problems are bigger than this. If you are any good at all, you will enter... the Writer Wars.

The Writer Wars begin when you find that you are not the only person to reach outstanding success and to accumulate a set group of readers. There are others. They are even better than you, with more addictive stories and a larger group of fans. And then some person comes up with the idea to host a website where people can vote for which story they like best.

The nominations come in. You see your name. You smile smugly. You see the other names. You recognize most of them. Some are newer at this than you, but worse, some are older, more experienced.

You have seen these names many times. People mention and recommend them to you. You've read their stories, studied their profiles, tried to track them down on myspace... you look at the voting sheet and you know that somewhere out there... the other competitors are looking at your name, at your story, and wondering if they'll be able to beat you in this popularity competition.

If you hadn't guessed already, it's that time of year again. I was contacted by the originator of the competition idea, who has recently started up her site again, and I am once again thrust into this authoric war.

I always lose. It's because I don't have as many fans (I honestly believe this, because as a writer, I am vain and arrogant, and believe my story to be the best, and there is therefore no reason for my continuing losage except that the other stories must have managed to garner more attention).

And thus the stage has been set. When the voting is open, the actual battles shall begin. It will be a tangled and stressful time, where you debate morals and cheating and reconaissance and in the end it doesn't matter, because there is always a clear favorite.

But this year... this year I rewrote my book four times. It's excellent. It's fabulous. And thus I have only two words for the competition:

Bring it.


McQuinn said...

You are - undoubtedly, by the way - my favorite author on FP. Although my reviews haven't recently been frequenting your review pages as often as they should, my fan girl screams attest to the fact that you have many devoted fans. I see that you realize this; you realize you have a huge fan base, so this comment is basically pointless. I just wanted to tell you how extremely *entertaining* you are - from "Woman's World" to this very blog. I love what you've done - just promise to keep more coming.


caitlin said...

what a great and inspiring post! i am following this blog... i hope you will post again someday!