It is a truth universally acknowledged that writing a book is hard. It takes time, patience, blood, sweat, tears, and coffee. When the going is rough, we doubt ourselves and want to chuck our computers out the window. When the going is good, we doubt ourselves and wonder if we should chuck our computers all the same.
A good book is a balance of pretty prose, developed plots, intriguing openings, satisfying resolutions, realistic characters, and more, all swept together in a mess of ideas that are easier to imagine than actually write. And that’s where many writers get stuck.
Getting inspired is the fun part. It’s the only part of the process that involves no effort. A brilliant idea floats into your mind and bows before you with the request to be written. So you write it. At least, you start.
I have more unfinished stories than finished, and I’m sure you have too.
Continue reading “Pep Talk: Write Garbage”
While creating a story it’s critical to know your audience, and thereby, your genre. Although we writer folk value creative expression over a business outlook, we must know our market to get published. This series will analyze the various book genres and how they pertain to storytelling.
Why Genre Matters
Imagine a book with a romantic plot is promoted as an action thriller. Readers who love thrillers will buy the book, expecting a fast-paced, suspense-filled adventure, but instead find a sappy love story. Even if the book is well-written, it will receive negative reviews from the duped audience. However, if it’s marketed as a romance, readers will buy and enjoy it for what it is. For publishers, books categorized badly can ruin their ratings and sales.
Similarly, the age group matters as well, whether it’s Children, Young Adult, Adult literature, and all of the smaller categories in between. There are vague lines on what content is appropriate for each section. A YA book marketed as Adult may seem juvenile or too simplistic for adult readers, while books with adult content marketed as YA can cause a backlash to the author and publisher for selling explicit content to young readers.
Besides for proper categorization for marketing, the genre is crucial for storytelling as well. There are defining trends expected in different stories, for example, a young protagonist in a middle-grade book or a mystery to solve in a detective novel. Yes, we artists love to defy the status quo, but your book should fit a genre and heed to a certain amount of reader expectations.
Picking a Genre for Your Book
Continue reading “Behind the Genre: An Introduction”
“There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” — Ernest Hemingway
There are many posts, videos, and classes about the writing craft, but little about the emotional journey.
Therefore, besides for writing advice and rambles, I’d like to include casual discussions about my WIP on this blog for three main reasons:
- Additional motivation, (Writing about writing makes me want to write.)
- To share my mistakes so others can avoid them,
- To commiserate and celebrate with you.
Writing is time-consuming, exhausting, and sometimes depressing. At one moment, you’re on top of the world, writing brilliant prose, and suddenly every idea turns sour and your text looks like garbage. Sometimes people won’t understand why you are so passionate about your story, or how devastating it can be to find a plot hole.
I enjoy memoirs and documentaries about writers who go beyond the craft and describe their lives as writers. It’s fascinating to see where they wrote or what was going on in their lives. Why do some writers take years to complete a book while some crank out a new one every season? Which authors swear by outlining and which ones swear off it? How did they manage their careers with their social and home life? What worked for them that can help me? Every writer has a story we can learn from. Here’s a little about mine.
My Work In Progress
Continue reading “Writer Talk #1: Editing Slump”