Writer Talk #2: Shiny New Ideas

Hello, all. I’m back. Did you miss me during my hiatus? Did you notice I went on a hiatus? No? Well, that doesn’t matter. I’m here now.

A lot has changed since my last writer talk when I was struggling through a new draft of Lethal Shores. Mazel tov to me, since that draft is completed! I decided to take the advice of a good friend who said, “You’re too close to the story. You need to take a break and edit it with a fresh mind.”

I had resisted putting Lethal Shores aside for a while because I want to see it published. Yes, I know how impatient that sounds, but I’m also not the only one. We all begin a novel knowing it takes years to create yet we think, “I’m going to be that magical writer who finishes entire books within a few months and publishes them that year. I’ll never be the guy working on the same book for the past decades!”

We writers have to stop lying to ourselves. It isn’t healthy.


Moving on, I took my friend’s advice, and I set Lethal Shores aside. I feel good about the work I have accomplished with that book; however, it’s burning me out. It’s time to start something new.

Introducing My New Untitled Project!

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Behind the Genre: An Introduction

Behind the Genre: An Introduction | Sarah Biren

New Series!

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

Behind the Genre: An Introduction

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Writer Talk #1: Editing Slump

“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:

  1. Additional motivation, (Writing about writing makes me want to write.)
  2. To share my mistakes so others can avoid them,
  3. 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


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