Everyone’s heard the saying “Write what you know”, but more recently writing teachers and experts have been saying “Write what you like”. For a long while I’ve been taking this to heart and writing the genre of stories I most liked to read. Mostly light comedy love stories with fantasy elements. I liked reading comedy. I liked reading light romance. I liked reading fantasy. So, if I put these three genres together, I should be writing the best stories I could be writing, right?
Unfortunately, I’ve hit a awful lot of speed bumps along the way. The first one was comedy, I like reading it, but it’s a lot harder to write than it looks. Just because I think it’s funny doesn’t mean everyone else will. Romance was the next problem, my personal experience with romance has been pretty boring. I’ve never been in a relationship where someone vowed undying devotion or gave some grand gesture of affection. My life has been filled with little sparks of gentle warmth, endearing, but note exactly page turner moments. Writing fantasy has been my smallest struggle. My problem with fantasy is that I’m usually trying so hard to be original that my story just becomes kind of weird.
The end result of my writing attempts is usually good, but not as good as I wish it was. Strangely, my horror stories have been widely critiqued as being really good, much better than my fantasy stories. But I don’t really like reading horror that much. In fact, it’s been years since I’ve read a horror book.
So, when should an author consider changing their preferred genre? Should a writer write a certain genre just because they are good at it? Or should an author stay with their favorite genre to read no matter how long it takes them to become good at writing it?
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please leave a comment below.
P.S. I just added the photos because I thought they looked cool, no special meaning.
Finally, I’m coming up to the end of writing my fourth book My Bloody Revenge! and I really want to edit it right away. The only problem is I already know I do a much better job editing if I wait for a while first. In fact, the longer I wait the better I seem to do editing my own writing. A great example of that is my book It’s a stony road through Hell, I actually wrote the book years ago. I didn’t rediscover my old story until recently, and then a few months ago I edited it and published it. And hands down, it’s the best edit job I’ve ever done on my own writing.
When I compare my earlier books (that I didn’t wait to edit) to “ISRTH”, the difference is so obvious. After editing It’s a stony road through Hell, the plot was really clear, the main character had personality without being over the top, and the imagery supported the emotional environment of the main character really well. When I was done editing ISRTH, I read through my manuscript and thought, “Yep, that’s the story I wanted to tell.”
My earlier books were edited pretty good, but It’s a stony road through Hell was edited so much better.
I know that my work really shines when I give it time to age and polish it, but waiting is so hard! I want to see my books published right now. I want to share my stories while I’m still excited about them.
Does anyone have a tip or suggestion on how to not edit your book when your fingers are justa itchin’ for some editin’? If you do, please leave them in the comments area below!
I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I was re-editing my first book (Driftwood Island) and I was going to re-release it some time soon. Well, now it’s going to be really soon! I just got done editing the paperback version.
The book was so much easier to edit when I could actually hold it and flip through the pages. Until now, I had always done all my editing on the computer because I thought it was more convenient. But, it was really surprising how many things just didn’t look right once the book was printed out. I think from now on, I will be editing my books from a paper version before letting them go to print. I’m so glad I learned this handy little trick.
So, just a heads up. If you haven’t gotten a chance to read my first book in its original first edition, you really need to do that now, because it’s going away soon. Also remember to down load or order my new edition of Driftwood Island from Amazon, it’s even better than the first one!