Recently, someone said to me, “so, since vampires are no longer in, are you going to write something else?”
Here’s the thing, I write what I like. I don’t write according to fashion or trends. I don’t write vampires because they were new/hot/now. I don’t write erotic because it’s new/hot/now. I just write the stories that come to me.
Sometimes, when I remember back to the not too distant past when I was just a newbie, I think about all the things I thought were important that, with the passage of time, have turned out to be not so very important at all.
One thing though, that I’ve always thought was integral to my own writing and to others’ writing as well has been staying true to the story inside you. And that’s borne itself out time and again.
I didn’t write the Witches Knot books because vampires were big at the time. I just wrote them because they were the stories and characters in my head. I write in multiple POV because that’s how the story comes to me. I write erotic when I’m meant to and not when it isn’t. It seems to me, the foundation of any good book is that the author told you what was clamoring in her had to be let free.
We all tell our stories differently. Some of us painstakingly plot out everything, some pants it the whole time and most do something in between. Some of us think in technical terms about our writing, some of us don’t. We use different methods and voices but the stories that stand out are not ones that are written as a means to hit a trend, but ones that rise above the rest with a take on an idea that grabs the reader. That can’t be boxed, it can’t be trended or mapped, it just happens. It’s organic in that sense and that’s why it stands out.
Writers put a lot of pressure on themselves – we constantly measure ourselves against other people in ways that will only leave us lacking. It’s silly and yet, we do it anyway. IMO, the biggest gift we can give ourselves is the freedom to write what we like so we can like what we write.
January 2nd, 2007 at 1:16 pm · Link
I’m so with you on this, Lauren. I’m a newbie to fiction and I have people trying to tell me that I should not write paranormal because it’s on its way out and I’ll have a hard time breaking in with it.
But those ARE my stories. The tales come to me and I write them as they come. I’m not great with sitting down, picking a genre and trying to come up with a story in that genre. I guess my mind just doesn’t work that way.
Instead I’m trying to write MY stories. I feel like one of the worst things I can do is to not be true to the stories.
January 2nd, 2007 at 3:01 pm · Link
Write on! You have to please yourself or you won’t please anybody. And while you can somewhat tailor your ideas to fit market realities, that doesn’t mean jumping on every trend wagon that passes.
January 2nd, 2007 at 8:26 pm · Link
I’ve found myself flip-flopping genres. Sometimes I want to write about shapeshifters, while other times I want to write contemporary. I understand that when I decide to submit I may not be selected because it’s not a hot market at the time. If you don’t write what makes you happy. how do you write? I think we all know that it would take the pleasure out of the writing process to write strictly because of market demand for the moment.
January 3rd, 2007 at 9:58 am · Link
Maura – I think paranormal will always be hot. Sure, I think it’s reached a market equillibrium now and the market is tighter than it was a year ago, but people still love paranormals and read them regularly. It’s a matter of writing books that are compelling.
Charli – yep – there’s being smart about what’s out there and blindly jumping on every fad.
Scooper – I write paranormal and contemporary, erotic and sensual. It just sort of worked out that way. I do know there are risks inherent to some of the things I write that straddle genre lines and some of the things I produce are far more marketable than others. I suppose it’s a matter of trying to balance it all and still write the things that make me happy.
January 4th, 2007 at 12:02 pm · Link
You said it, Lauren! The market is always changing. Who the heck can keep up? I figure if you write what you love, you stand a much better chance of producing a book that someone else will want to read.