Saturday, August 30, 2008

Author's Responsibility To Write A Book?

Stephenie Meyers, author of the wildly popular Twilight series, announced at her website that a partial draft of Midnight Sun (her current work-in-progress which is the latest book in the series) was illegally posted on the Internet, and as a result she has put the book on hold indefinitely. As a writer, I can understand that this would cause her to lose the focus and enthusiasm that she needs to finish the book.

There's a reader’s board I visit, which is frequented by some very die-hard Twilight fans, and let me tell you--those fans are pissed. They feel that Meyers is 'punishing' them by refusing to finish the book. The one statement they made which made me stop and think was, "Meyers has a responsibility to her fans to finish it."

Certainly, an author has responsibilities to their readers. They have the responsibility of writing the best book possible. They have the responsibility of treating their readers with respect. But is it an author's responsibility to write a specific book? Maybe, in particular if it’s part of a series and they’ve announced that they’re writing it. Or maybe not. What are your thoughts?


Em said...

She finished Bella's story. That was the end of her responsibility.

Edward's story was STOLEN from her - not complete, not given freely. In this case, she has no responsibility to anybody (except possibly legal responsibility to a contract) to finish writing that book. Not because it was stolen, not as a punishment, but because that's still her story and nobody else's.

Katie Reus said...

As someone who has NEVER read her (I have her in my tbr pile though) I'm hopefully answering objectively. As a writer I can't imagine the pain she's going through at having her work stolen and posted on-line. She's probably going through a form of mourning. Jeez, she's human, can her fans give her a break? The only responsibility an author has is to write a book to the best of their ability (and to quote you, treat their readers with respect). I don't know the whole story but if this book has been promised (and it looks like it has), I can certainly understand the backlash. At the same time, if it's not in her heart to finish it at this time, do readers really want something she didn't put her heart into?

ilona said...

As a reader I am apppalled that her fans say she has a responsibility to write a specific book.

The only responsibility an author should have is to write the best book s/he can and hope that the readers will read it.

Romantic Heretic said...

Those aren't fans complaining about Ms. Meyer's not finishing the book, those are stalkers.

The only responsibilities a writer has is contractual, and to write the best damned stuff they possibly can.