It has been a while since a piece of work has had me thinking so hard about the writing process as Nathan Lowell’s Owners Share. I have lots of thought on the story, and on writing, especially the choices authors make.
I have to give a lot of props to Nathan for superb delivery, engagement with the fans and support to fellow podiobook authors. As a series comes to an end it is a good time to say thanks for all the effort he has put in. 🙂
I won’t say too much about Owner’s Share, except I didn’t like the ending. As an ending to a series and a book, I can see why Nathan took it there. But for a number of reasons I feel it was a bad way to end. It is my personal view but I think a series ending should always be upbeat, leaving the audience with a strong feeling of satisfaction, and with the promise that if we never come back to there again, we can be happy with where we leave the story. The ending just didn’t deliver that for me and for a number of other fans. 😦
This has led me to reflect on the relationship between authors, readers/listeners and their characters. It is true that in the end the author “owns” the destiny of their characters, but in a series often the readers/listeners will feel a strong level of ownership of the character. They will have an invested interest in where the character ends up. Where that differs from the authors, how much notice should the author take of the “fans” views? It can be problematic for the author as they risk alienating the fans if they take the story too far from where the fan base wants it. I am now unsure as to how I feel about the Share series as a whole, but I will still listen to my favourite stories again, and again, and agian. And then maybe a few more times. 🙂 So yeah I would recommend the series to anyone!
As an author I hope to one day have a strong fan base, so how I deal with that is going to be important. In the end I think as an author I need to listen to where my audience wants me to take them. In the writing of my current Fursk and Gurt story I started to take one of the characters down a particular path, and my chief sounding board sat me down and told me in on uncertain terms that as a reader she didn’t want me to go there. That story arch was cancelled and after a while I can see that was the right choice. It is still my story, and the characters destinies are wholly in my hands, but I feel I should take that into consideration. Next time I come to that point I wonder which will win, the author’s voice or the fan’s. Best two out of three?