Yesterday, Husband and I took Kids 3 and 4 to a movie – one they have been SO EXCITED about for over a year. See, we have this preview channel on our computer, so we regularly watch previews months in advance of a film’s opening. This movie, which I’d rather not name, had such a funny premise. And so many talented people involved. And the preview is really hilarious.
And the film was completely disappointing.
Maybe that’s not fair. We did laugh a few times. But the potential was HUGE, and the payoff? Way minor.
So naturally, I’m applying this to books. You know that thing, where you pick up a book and read the back, and maybe a few of the blurbs inside, and you think, hey, with a cover like this and a premise like that and sunshine-y reviews like these, this is a book I’m going to Lurve? And then you get inside it and it’s, well, hack?
Yes? You know?
This is a large fear of mine.
Maybe other writers share this fear. This concern that we’ve made something with such great sound-bytes and beautiful packaging and the world’s best premise and hey, what’s not to love? But then it turns out to be… meh?*
Now maybe other people saw this film and lurved it like I wanted to. Maybe there are people who are, how do I say this nicely, less discerning. Like Kids 3 and 4, who said a dozen times as we left the theater, “That was awesome. Thank you for taking us to see it!” But these are the same children who can watch any of a number of television shows and call them awesome, too. I’m just saying. Entertainment for them is… easy. Am I a snob? Possibly. Do I require much? Perhaps. Will I withhold “awesome” until I feel it’s deserved? Probably.
And I know that what I write is not fine art. It is not “high” anything. But I hope it’s consistent. I hope that you get what you expect, plus a little more, when you finish the experience. I work to satisfy the premise. I fill a niche, and I hope (and work) to fill it in a way that leaves you smiling, not going, “wha…?”
* A writer’s prayer: Oh, let me not be… meh.