A Random Rant About James Patterson

Okay, so a few years ago, a bunch of my friends and I started reading the Maximum Ride series. And I really liked it. I thought the characters were pretty cool, Maximum Ride Coverand so was the plot, and the actual writing was awesome. And usually, now that the final book has been out for a while, I would have already read it. But I didn’t because I forgot everything that happened in the series before and I didn’t get around to it. And now I honestly don’t think I’ll ever read it, because after some research, I’m definitely thinking much less of James Patterson as a writer. Or whatever you want to call him.

James Patterson started out writing his own books, it’s true. But he’s taken to having several co-authors do the writing, while he provides the outlines and such. But here’s the thing–to me that’s not writing. Writing is doing the parts you like–like coming up with ideas–and then actually writing the story, even if maybe you don’t like that as much. That’s what writers do. And the fact that James Patterson is one of the most popular writers today (he holds the record for the most books on the New York Times bestsellers list) just annoys me, because what he does seems to take away from the writing process overall, and take for granted what so many fabulous and not-so-fabulous authors go through daily: The pulling of the hair, the writer’s block, and the great moment when you realize you’ve gotten something just right. THAT’S writing.

Patterson has described what he writes as “commercial fiction.” But that makes books sound all fake and shiny and gives me a bad taste in my mouth. Commercial fiction? What’s wrong with regular fiction? If someone feels they know, please enlighten me.

I also feel that those who write the book, using James Patterson’s guidelines, don’t get a lot of the credit, which is too bad, considering how good the writing can be.

Anyway, basically I’m just saying that I’m pretty letdown by the fact that one of the most popular and richest authors in the world doesn’t seem to really be a full-fledged writer. That’s just disappointing, and the honor ought to go to someone else.

Oh, I nearly forgot! Literary Quote of the Day: “It kills me sometimes, how people die.”  —The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak


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