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Monday, August 15, 2011

Professional Writers

Many writers follow the market. Bad idea.

When vamps were hot, that was not the time to start a book on them. It takes time to formulate a storyline, edit, beta, query, then connect with an agent, a publisher, and finally print. By that time, the bus has left the station and the audience looks at romantic vampires as yesterday’s 8-track tape.

Well, um, present company excluded but you get what I mean.

Write the genre you love and forget the markets. Write what makes the Slinky tumble down the stairs for you.

For me it is Fantasy, in every form. Epic to YA, I don’t care. Sci-Fi is a close second.

I’ve given examples of great self-help books about writing and plot conception. But here is another tip that is nearly as important: Read.

Read books that you love and note how an experienced author creates a scene, the flow and cadence of words. Note the writer’s use of nouns and verbs.

Take a favorite book and dissect it. It might point the way to the road of success.

For me it is The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. I look at it with the eye of an editor and analyze the method that so captivated me from the start, the whys and hows to good writing.

Use experience as your base. What books do you use as examples of writing?

3 comments:

cleemckenzie said...

I don't think new writers often understand just how long it takes from idea to publication. Writing to trend might work if that trend is back by the time he finishes writing the book and actually sells it. :-)

As far as I'm concerned, you're right and in agreement with most writers: write what you love. Love shows in the prose.

mshatch said...

the kingkiller chronicles is a great example. god I love those books. Kvothe is just short of being arrogant enough to hate but clever enough that I like him - a lot.

I still love vampires, but the last time I read about one I liked was Twilight. Maybe there will be another cool vampire book but most of what I've seen is just stuff trying to cash in the craze, ie, nothing to stay up late over.

Which leads back to your point. Write what you love. Write what moved you to start writing in the first place. Trends come and go but when an author has written something they're passionate about it shows and Patrick Rothfuss is a great example of someone who did just that.

Crystal Pistol said...

I have a problem narrowing down the books I love. I want to write everything and read everything and be everything. Unrealistic. I know.

I agree with you about not following the markets though. Good literature comes from the heart not the market.