This is a coined phrase. It refers to going past the point of no return. It specifically refers to the "Happy Days" episode when Fonzie jumped the shark. That was supposedly the beginning of the end for "Happy Days."
A confession: I loved that episode. I was young enough that I was enthralled with the danger of it. Of course, I also liked the Brady Bunch episode where they went tropical and Vincent Price starred. Something about voodoo, remember? I could go walk down TV lane some more, but I'll save that for another blog.
When do authors jump the shark? Is there some line authors cross where they should have stopped while they're ahead? I've seen blog posts about authors who have let their series run long, and the magic has dwindled fast.
Have some authors done a work "too death"? Sure, they have. They want to squeeze that last little bit out of a work. And it's hard to see when we're so close to it.
And as a market in general, what has crossed that line? Too many vampires? Brides? Secret babies? Have we flooded the market? Are we drowning?
Many people say that romance books are simply the same stories over and over again. And I suppose, to an extent, they're right. We, as authors, must be original in our telling. That's the talent. That's the difference. Our readers are voracious. When they find a good author, they stick. They're loyal.
And we owe them something for their loyalty. Let's not jump the shark.
9 months ago