26 August 2011

Briefs or shorts? Why authors might be producing short-stories of the already best-selling works.

In June, 2008, J. K. Rowling, already a bestselling author of the multimillion dollar Harry Potter series, ‘realeased’ the Harry Potter prequel. Haven’t heard of it? Well, to tell you the truth, neither did I. Three years later I come across it in out-dated archives during an internet search. But don’t get too excited, Rowling’s prequel is a mere 800 words, not two pages long.

And, come to think of it, this has been happening a lot. Authors are pumping out short stories of their novels and fans are running in for the kill. So what’s the point of this? Is it something fans should be excited for or disappointed with?

From my own humble opinion, I’m going to address three reasons and three authors of this short-story phenomenon to get a better look at this new ‘fad.’

For Fun

Most authors love their books, love their worlds, love their characters. This is so for Cassandra Clare, best-selling author of The Mortal Instruments series has released several very short writings on the best-selling series. From ‘deleted scenes’ to the original chapters before they were rewritten, the collection of shorts has amassed to mini-pieces of fiction.

Why? While I haven’t read any of her work, yet, she hasn’t seemed to be making a lot of money off her short-stories. I think she writes them, and gives them to her readers, because she can. She seems humbled by her fame, and what’s the harm in passing out a page or two of your work to adoring fans? She does it for fun, she does it for her fans, and she’s looking for nothing more than a simple ‘thank you’ in return.

To Be Greedy

How many years ago did that sad excuse for a human being, Stephanie Meyer, write The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner? This woman is a frigging sponge, I swear. It came out, fans went nuts, bought it, and read it in two hours. I didn’t know what to think when the stupid thing started to show up on bookshelves everywhere.

Ladies and gents, I give you the greedy author. She just wants more money, and the only way she can think of getting her hands onto it is to write more shit and pass it off as actual literature. The sad thing is, her fans will buy it. She’ll get the money, and then she’ll laugh and hackle like an evil witch, and then do the same thing in a few years. The only thing that upsets her is the fact she actually needs to do some crappy work in order to get more money and more fame.

For Charity

Back to Miss Rowling!

So this woman has written three shorts that follow her famed Harry Potter universe. Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Fans loved them, because they loved the world she created, and these were small but sweet additions to this world.

What’s the catch? She donated the proceeds to charity. Even that Harry Potter prequel was auctioned off for charity. She herself admits how much she loves Harry, how easy it is for her to write for Harry, and she herself is a shining personality in several charity venues. The fact that this woman takes her proceeds from these books to pass off to charity makes her one hell of a human being.

So what’s coming in the future for our favorite authors? I have a few favorites that post deleted chapters on their websites, but is this becoming a more common practice? What’s worse, a writer that releases several just for the fun of it, or another who does it just for the money? With more and more authors looking out for a way to sneak in a short piece of work, I can’t tell if it’s becoming a new, witty trend, or if this is something that readers should be wary off.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, as always, so please don’t be shy. Tackle the subject of this growing fad with me!

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