I wish I could write trash. If I could write trash novels I would be wealthy. Am I jealous of trash writers? You bet I am. They sell hundreds of books – books filled with military jargon, sex, aliens, zombies, characters who are Siamese-twin burglars. Rampant plagues that spring from nowhere to wipe out the earth. There is nothing too unreal, too implausible, too stupid for trash writers to use in their tomes.
What about the people who read trash books? Who are these fans who buy hundreds of these novels? They are obviously people who have the money to buy this stuff, but for the life of me I am not unintelligent enough to understand why. All of my life, I have never been able to force myself to read worthless junk. Regardless of the plot or the characters, if the writing is not superior, I cannot read it. I guess I would have to categorize those who devour trash fiction as the same fans who believe that Professional Wrestling is “real.” And I expect you could get a good argument from them about that.
Just as it is not in my ability to write a romance novel, I am just not capable of writing trash novels. Sometimes the popularity of those who write such, in my opinion, garbage is discouraging. Why should you or I spend a year researching and writing logical and interesting and entertaining fiction? Why would we strive through rewrite after rewrite to make our writing absolutely the best we are capable of? Isn’t it a waste of our time? If it is not going to be a big money-maker why do we bother?
I cannot speak for others. All I know is that if I tried as hard as I could, I wouldn’t be able to write the trash that is the most popular and profitable in today’s market. Of course it doesn’t require much effort on the part of their readers – they don’t have to use their brain or imagination. I suppose it is like children who can watch the same cartoon over and over and over and never tire of it. I guess it is just mindless entertainment, like one of the hundreds of “Rambo” movies. A diversion from the malaise and dullness of their lives. If that is the case, I pity them for pissing their lives and precious time away.
There is one thing I can promise you, if you serious about your fiction. You will never be as rich as the trash writers. That is because there will always be more of a market for mindless fiction than good writing. But let me ask you another question. Is money the prime reason for your writing efforts? If it is, then you should seek another career. Like the heading on my web site – I write simply because I have to. I have always had to. And I will be writing as long as I live. But I have to think that though I will never realize wealth from my efforts to make my writing the best fiction that I am capable of – it will be as good fifty years from now, long after I am dead, as it is today. And perhaps someday one of my works will be the “text book” in some professor’s writing class. And that is a reward that the trash writers cannot take to the bank.