Say you published a book that was disseminated widely enough that strangers have read it. Then imagine one of those strangers gives you a compliment? What would you want to hear?
The top two compliments I can think of for a writer (of a novel or non-fiction book) are:
1. I couldn’t put it down
2. I couldn’t stop thinking about it later.
Of course, those are not mutually exclusive. But with the conceit being that I can only hear one, I believe that “I couldn’t stop thinking about it later” is the best possible compliment. The first option is plenty special and is what I aspire to achieve one day. However, the latter means the story will have transcended the page on which it was printed. It will be a construct that continues to exist in readers’ minds, with characters who live on beyond the events the writer has chosen to describe. Only the books that touch people’s hearts and souls do that (yes, for some people that includes Twilight, Stephenie Meyer haters).
What are your thoughts, writers (and anyone else who wishes to opine)? What’s your best compliment as an artist?
Voice-over artist Kris Keppeler did a another podcast of a Clawing at the Keys post, this time the “My Man Crush on Sean Bean” bit I wrote not too long ago. As usual, she manages to make me sound far cleverer than really I am. It’s less than four minutes long: