It’s that time again! Moira welcoming you back to another #SensualSunday. Today’s post is feeding off of the lovely Kacey Hammell’s post from yesterday. We’re going to discuss the one point she made, Quality over Quantity a little more. Now, I’m no expert in this, so feel free to chime in with your own advice in the comments section – just keep it friendly.
QUALITY (definition): noun | qual·i·ty | \ˈkwä-lə-tē\ | plural qualities
1a: peculiar and essential character: NATURE <her ethereal quality — Gay Talese>
b: an inherent feature: PROPERTY <had a quality of stridence, dissonance — Roald Dahl>
c: CAPACITY, ROLE <in the quality of reader and companion — Joseph Conrad>
2a: degree of excellence: GRADE <the quality of competing air service — Current Biography>
b: superiority in kind <merchandise of quality>
3a: social status: RANK
4a: a distinguishing attribute: CHARACTERISTIC <possesses many fine qualities>
b: archaic: an acquired skill: ACCOMPLISHMENT
5: the character in a logical proposition of being affirmative or negative
6: vividness of hue
b: the identifying character of a vowel sound determined chiefly by the resonance of the vocal chambers in uttering it
8: the attribute of an elementary sensation that makes it fundamentally unlike any other sensation
QUANTITY (definition): noun | quan·ti·ty | \ˈkwän-tə-tē\ | plural quantities
1a: an indefinite amount or number
b: a determinate or estimated amount
c: total amount or number
d: a considerable amount or number —often used in plural <generous quantities of luck — H. E. Putsch>
2a: the aspect in which a thing is measurable in terms of greater, less, or equal or of increasing or decreasing magnitude
b: the subject of a mathematical operation
c: an individual considered with respect to a given situation <an unknown quantity…as attorney general — Tom Wicker>
3a: duration and intensity of speech sounds as distinct from their individual quality or phonemic character; specifically: the relative length or brevity of a prosodic syllable in some languages (as Greek and Latin)
b: the relative duration or time length of a speech sound or sound sequence
4: the character of a logical proposition as being universal, particular, or singular
As we’re discussing writing, we only need a couple specific definitions for this particular post, so let’s narrow this down shall we? Quality – “degree of excellence” and Quantity – “an indefinite amount or number”. There, these are the two we’ll use to focus on in regards to an author writing.
Too many authors these days pump out books, ie: Quantity. That means the Quality of those stories begins to falter. Like Kacey mentioned readers can tell when you are putting out the same ole, same ole time after time. Changing names, and maybe a couple other details will NOT keep your readers coming back for more. Yes, it would be fabulous if we could all put out a couple dozen books a year, but in pushing for Quantity you sacrifice your Quality.
Our readers want, and deserve stories that are unique. While writing in a series (depending on your series) almost always guarantees certain details will continue to pop up book after book, this doesn’t mean your characters need to be cookie cutter replicas of the characters in book 1, 2, 3, etc. No two people are the same, not even twins. They have idiosyncrasies all their own, likes and dislikes that have shaped them, preferences and wants all their own. Don’t cheat your readers, or yourself out of a great story.
Be a better author by understanding that. While we all wish we could be on the NYT Best Sellers list making money hand over fist, we also have to be realistic. All you can do is be better than you were yesterday, or the week before. Continue to grow, learn, and the stretch yourself with your writing. Your readers, and your bottom line, will appreciate that extra effort. A Quality author’s works will live forever, a Quantity author and their works will die a slow, ugly death when the readers get wise. At least that’s my thought on it.
Money is great, we all need it to get by in the materialistic world we live in, but it is not everything. I think it’s better to leave your unique mark with your works on the world than to be only known for putting out forty books each and every year. While I would love to be hyper-prolific and write more than a few a year, I will not sacrifice my own standards of workmanship to make that happen.
Be the author you are and not the author you think you should be.
XO Moira Callahan