It’s important that editors, critique groups, and fellow writers help each other by pointing out when our dialogue and narrative are stiff and unemotional.
I read two books recently by a favorite author (who shall go unnamed), and it makes me wonder if something isn’t going on in her life.
Her other books were always interesting and believable. Now her writing voice has changed. It’s like a man is writing it. Her writing voice is indistinguishable from the other books she wrote years ago. It’s like two different people have written the books.
Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys were famous for having various authors writing under the same pseudonym, but the tone never changed. The style remained the same so the publisher could pull off several authors sounding like one person.
In this case, my favorite author is fast becoming my least favorite author. Usually, I have no problem naming an author when reviewing a book. Since I am not reviewing, I see no good from naming her as I want to remain sensitive to the author herself. If something is going on, I pray that she can work through it and return to her powerful writing. If the publisher is having someone else write under that name, I pray they read the reviews and stop messing with the author name. But there’s a lesson we can learn from this–editors, agents, and writers need to help each other write better by pointing out our flaws so we can improve.