When I pick up a book, I'm looking for more than just a single adventure. I want to experience new things and new places. I want to meet and fall in love with new people. I don't pick up a book for the sleekest most direct route to the end. I want to meander through beautiful scenery and stop and meet the local populace. I want to care about the world the hero is trying to save.
It may seem controversial, but I want more in my books not less. When I finished Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, I wanted more. I wanted to learn about the Aelfinn and Eelfinn. I wanted to know more about Shara and numerous other little details. I loved the sprawling scope of the adventure even the parts that dragged a little. When I completed the series, I felt like I had lived a lifetime with the characters. Those are the kinds of reading experiences I treasure. Tad Williams. Brandon Sanderson. George R. R. Martin. They could likely cut their books in half by removing all the extra. But then I wouldn't love them as much.
Very few books on my shelf are short reads, and it is partly why I enjoy them so much. So I am a bit put off by the zealous cutting trend in writing lately. I have seen numerous pushes to cut anything not directly linked to the immediate plot. While I understand how that can help to slim down and streamline your writing, especially if the plot needs tightening, I think it can be taken too far. At least for my taste.
I won't name names, but several authors held top ranking on my list for years only to lose my interest as they switched to sleeker more trimmed stories. They used to create worlds I dove head first into enthusiastically. Now I feel like I have tunnel vision as I follow a character running full speed towards the finish line. I haven't bought from either in a few years.
I get it. I understand the market's push for sleeker and I know trends point towards short easy reads. But I hope a few fantasy authors out there stick with the older model of vast expansive stories. Cause I suspect I'm not the only reader who feels this way.
As a side note, it is a bit humorous posting this shortly after releasing my short story series Guardians of the Tide. But I hope to explore Nix through many returns to the world and its people.