unique users and a question

goodreads_2000_unique_readersI was quite irrationally glad to see the round number of “unique users” who’ve added my books on Goodreads. We love those round numbers! 1999 didn’t quite make the same impression, although every unique user is an awesome reader and I’m grateful for all of them, even those who don’t like my books very much and give them paltry stars. You might say that every user is unique. Of course they are! It’s just a technical term, I know. Ever notice that we’re all turning into unique technical term users?

So here’s the question. Today on the Daily Dish featured an interview with a Goodreads author Julia Fierro – in which she says this:

“the writer has a responsibility not just to the reader, but even more so to his or her characters. If a writer feels compassion for his or her characters, those characters’ needs and fears will seem authentic. The reader will find it is impossible to dismiss the characters, even the most “unlikable,” whose actions and motivations the reader wants to find unacceptable. Their redemption in that practice of acceptance has the potential to reach outside the time it takes to read the book. When a reader spots even the tiniest glimmer of his or herself (a shared desire or vulnerability, a habit or preoccupation) in a character they want to hate, it feels to me as if a life is saved, even if it is a fictional life. Humanity as a whole is strengthened. There shouldn’t be “collateral damage” in real life—I believe the same goes for literature.”

Now I wonder if any of my unique users have an opinion about this, because I certainly do. My opinion is simply that if a writer is going to be basically a cheerleader for the human race, why even bother? I mean, really. Who else is going to read a human’s book but another human, anyway.

Earlier in the interview, there is this quote. I agree with the first part of it, up until the word “while”.

“To tell his or her truth, to reveal his or her unique interpretations of life, while simultaneously reminding the reader of the universality of the human experience”

While simultaneously WHAT? Reminding the reader of what?

Okay, maybe this is just easy pickings, but I don’t need a freaking writer to remind me what species I belong to. Do you want to save the world one fictional character at a time?

As a writer, I will play with my dolls any old way I want to, if you don’t mind.


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