September 3, 2011

Write YOUR story

Dean Wesley Smith is an author whose blog I recently started following. His latest post is about not trying to write what's "hot". The article interested me because I thought of doing so for my next book. Wouldn't it be easier to sell a book, I thought, if I wrote in a popular genre? Why don't I try to copy Amanda Hocking and write paranormal romances? Or write thrillers like Joe Konrath? In the end, I decided not to because that would be too hard. (Especially if I were to write paranormal romance, which I don't even like reading. I can see myself writing a thriller later on because I like that genre, but I don't have any good ideas right now.) 

Smith offers some guidelines for authors who are tempted to write something because it's hot:

1. Never talk about your story with anyone ahead of time.
2. For heaven’s sake, never, ever let anyone read a work-in-progress.
3. Never think of markets or selling when writing.
4. Follow Heinlein’s Rules, especially #3 about never rewriting.
5. When an editor says they are looking for a certain type of book, ignore it.
6. Get passionate and protective of what you write.

Underlying the rules is the principal that when you edit your story, you should do it only to fix mistakes, not to tailor the story to someone else's liking. I need to keep these guidelines in mind if I ever contemplate writing a story for someone else in the future.

No comments:

Post a Comment