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D.J.
06-12-2005, 08:54 PM
Please let me ramble: This may be an odd question, but one I'm having trouble with finding the answer to for myself. I have always written and have always been told I'm good at it. I find lots of different ways I like to express my interest in words. I have written a romantic mystery ms. (Not published.) I have written a non-fiction Christian ms. (Just tried to find an agent and found Stylus waiting like vultures.)
I have thought about trying to learn to write movie scripts. I have a masters degree in education and have been asked by those around me to please write children's books. (As if it's just that easy.) As crazy as it sounds, I write poetry for my husband's job of heavy equipment sales surrounding various holidays. The customers love them and some have even posted them on their office walls. At my best friend's request and insistence of it's truth, I have gotten her daughter into law school by my letters using her average accomplishments and creating a positive slant. I have written resumes and business letters that have gotten great response. Those I have helped have even been asked about the specific letters and complimented on how great they were.
Was your niche or genre always a given for you? Is this just a weird personal affliction only I have been somehow plagued with? If it's normal then how do I find a niche that's best for me? How do I choose and then get comfortable in one specific area? I feel I have some talent and definitely desire to write and become successful in it, but how?
Forgive this simplistic question with perhaps an impossible answer. I'm at one of those frustrated stages of the writing life. So, if you feel bored and wish to ramble a response I'd greatly appreciate hearing from you.

William Haskins
06-13-2005, 02:37 AM
the niche/genre/style that gives you the greatest creative satisfaction is, nearly without exception, the one that you'll do your best work in.

that said, i consider it a strength to write in as many forms and styles as possible for the insights you can glean from the process.

Cathy C
06-13-2005, 03:21 AM
Forgive this simplistic question with perhaps an impossible answer.


Not at all. But you may not be able to FIND the answer just yet. See, there are two ways to look at writing (as with most things in life.) Perhaps you have an "A+" talent for something. You might not have discovered it yet (although truly insightful poetry is a rare talent, indeed!)

On the other hand, you might have a number of "B+" talents with no great standout "niche."

You might find it by total accident, as I did. I wrote what I thought was a fantasy novel, where the guy gets laid and ends up liking her enough to keep her. Did I PLAN to write a "paranormal romance?" Oh Lord no! I don't MIND that it's shelved there, but it certainly wasn't intentional.

My best advice is to keep writing in various genres. Something might suddenly seem really easy. It will flow faster and better than anything you've ever written before (your A+ talent.). Or you might start to get better and better at writing the various things you write now. You might wind up like Isaac Asimov, who did many things in many different genres -- all of them exceptional. You might make ALL of your B+ talents into A+ talents, and WOW the world.

But, if you're worried about finding just the right thing, try going to some writer's sites that offer "flash fiction". They're spur of the moment competitions on-line that let you write a short story (1,000 words, so pretty quick) on a randomly selected topic. Go to the areas where you've never written anything and see if you find anything fun. I don't know if AW has one here, since I'm new. But one good site for flashfic that I really like is Writer's BBS (http://www.writersbbs.com/forums/#chat )
Hope that helps!

D.J.
06-13-2005, 07:33 AM
the niche/genre/style that gives you the greatest creative satisfaction is, nearly without exception, the one that you'll do your best work in.

that said, i consider it a strength to write in as many forms and styles as possible for the insights you can glean from the process.


Thanks. I find myself really liking mysteries. I'm one of those that loves to "figure it out" before the end! So, with the ms I wrote I tried really hard to keep it so even I wouldn't be able to guess everything if I were reading. LOL!
I guess since I haven't gotten published and it seems like a hard thing to do, my brain is searching for what might work.
You've been very helpful!

D.J.
06-13-2005, 07:42 AM
[QUOTE=Cathy C]On the other hand, you might have a number of "B+" talents with no great standout "niche."

You hit my inner most fear concerning my commercial writing potential. I have a sister who's a college english instructor and as you can imagine is a freak about reading. She is also very picky! She is also very honest and would come closer to discouraging me if she felt my romantic mystery ms wasn't what she felt was good. She loves it. BUT it's hard to get a book published by saying, "But my sister liked it!" LOL!!!


>>>You might find it by total accident, as I did. I wrote what I thought was a fantasy novel, where the guy gets laid and ends up liking her enough to keep her. Did I PLAN to write a "paranormal romance?" Oh Lord no! I don't MIND that it's shelved there, but it certainly wasn't intentional.


That is wonderful - it worked out as meant to be!


>>>My best advice is to keep writing in various genres. Something might suddenly seem really easy. It will flow faster and better than anything you've ever written before (your A+ talent.). Or you might start to get better and better at writing the various things you write now. You might wind up like Isaac Asimov, who did many things in many different genres -- all of them exceptional. You might make ALL of your B+ talents into A+ talents, and WOW the world.


If only.... :)


>>>But, if you're worried about finding just the right thing, try going to some writer's sites that offer "flash fiction". They're spur of the moment competitions on-line that let you write a short story (1,000 words, so pretty quick) on a randomly selected topic. Go to the areas where you've never written anything and see if you find anything fun. I don't know if AW has one here, since I'm new. But one good site for flashfic that I really like is Writer's BBS (http://www.writersbbs.com/forums/#chat )
Hope that helps


It helps greatly! Thanks so very much for your time and great advice! I saved the site under my favorites.

Jamesaritchie
06-13-2005, 05:59 PM
I write in several genres, but I've found the best place for a new writer to begin is almost always by writing what they most love to read. Each genre has its own tropes, and a writer usually must know these tropes pretty well to write successfully in a given genre.

Trying to follow the market seldom works, especially for new writers. Write whatever kind of book you most love to read.

D.J.
06-13-2005, 06:12 PM
I write in several genres, but I've found the best place for a new writer to begin is almost always by writing what they most love to read. Each genre has its own tropes, and a writer usually must know these tropes pretty well to write successfully in a given genre.

Trying to follow the market seldom works, especially for new writers. Write whatever kind of book you most love to read.

Thanks. I think you've got a valid point. When I recently wrote my nonfiction Christian ms, I felt God wanted me to write from my experiences. It is about our tough times in life. I backed it up with tons of scripture and bible study. It has some humor and hopefully it is an enjoyable, encouraging read. It helped me whether it was truly meant for anyone else or not. I have only tried one agency and found them to be unsavory. I think I will try others now after doing more research.
BUT my favorite genre is mystery/romantic mystery really. The first book I wrote was one. I felt the most consumed and happy while writing it. I never got it published but I tried a few agents. (I seem to have a knack for finding scam artists.) I think I might go back and revamp it and try to get it published now that I have more time.
Thanks for your encouragement and help!

Jamesaritchie
06-14-2005, 05:50 AM
Thanks. I think you've got a valid point. When I recently wrote my nonfiction Christian ms, I felt God wanted me to write from my experiences. It is about our tough times in life. I backed it up with tons of scripture and bible study. It has some humor and hopefully it is an enjoyable, encouraging read. It helped me whether it was truly meant for anyone else or not. I have only tried one agency and found them to be unsavory. I think I will try others now after doing more research.
BUT my favorite genre is mystery/romantic mystery really. The first book I wrote was one. I felt the most consumed and happy while writing it. I never got it published but I tried a few agents. (I seem to have a knack for finding scam artists.) I think I might go back and revamp it and try to get it published now that I have more time.
Thanks for your encouragement and help!

First novels very seldom get published. Writing and storytelling are learned skills. There's an old saying that we all have a million words of garbage inside us, and we have to write those words out beforee we find the gold beneath.

It's often the second, the thrid, or the fifth novel where we strike gold. Like anything else, the more we write, the better we get at it.

Good luck with your book. It sounds like one I'd enjoy reading. But don't get stuck on it. Write another, and then another, and then another. The gold is under there. You just have to dig deep enough and long enough to uncover it.

kohuether
06-14-2005, 03:04 PM
If you enjoy all those types of writing, then I say keep on doing as you're doing. Here's an example of work I've done:


Article on Herbal Remedies for Allergies
Article on Home Remedies for Cold and Flu
Copy for a glass company
published poem
published short story
etc
I continue to submit queries and poetry and stories in a range of genres. I have some food writing lined up, am looking to break into travel writing, starting to write articles about business, writing devotionals, and continuing to promote my copywriting business, Persuasive Words. Not to mention the many non-fiction books I have lined up in my brain as well as a few novels and screenplays. Maybe even a short play, who knows. I'll go wherever this writing thing takes me. ;)

D.J.
06-14-2005, 05:59 PM
If you enjoy all those types of writing, then I say keep on doing as you're doing. Here's an example of work I've done:


Article on Herbal Remedies for Allergies
Article on Home Remedies for Cold and Flu
Copy for a glass company
published poem
published short story
etc
I continue to submit queries and poetry and stories in a range of genres. I have some food writing lined up, am looking to break into travel writing, starting to write articles about business, writing devotionals, and continuing to promote my copywriting business, Persuasive Words. Not to mention the many non-fiction books I have lined up in my brain as well as a few novels and screenplays. Maybe even a short play, who knows. I'll go wherever this writing thing takes me. ;)

You defintely do have a diversified writing interest and it sounds like you're very successful in doing it all. Probably all of those who write can have some writing talent that can cross some writing boundaries. I guess it's like you said though, do what I enjoy. I think maybe another factor will affect what I do hopefully commerically. That being, what can I get my "foot in the door with."
As far as poetry, I think I mislead in the way I wrote my "skills" there. I write silly advertising poems that only the specific customer would get a laugh from. They do seem to love them though. No great talent there! As far as business letters and recommendations, of course, can't think of a need commercially or a great interest on my part. I can just help out friends and family.
As for the nonfiction Christian. I think I did my one ms that God had intended for now. I need to progress forward toward getting that published hopefully.
Sooooo, that leaves me with the mysteries or romantic mystery...maybe I should say suspense. I really don't know how to classify the ms I have written. Then children's books, what I have my degrees in basically - education. I've begun several but they loose interest for me quickly. I have had some good ideas but I never go back to them.
I've toyed with the idea of a movie script out of my mystery ms, but really don't know how to approach it. Perhaps I might write some Christian fiction...
As you see all of those who have been so kind as to post have given me things to think about and I have begun the weeding process of where to go next. This board is the greatest, I can't believe I've just now found it! Thanks everyone!