PDA

View Full Version : How are you sure what you write...



butterfly
08-28-2011, 03:09 PM
...is what you should be writing?

How did you decide / know / realize / fall into fiction, creative non-fiction, non-fiction, sci-fi, and the age group.

I have two major stories that I work on simultaneously, one is a young adult time-travel fantasy and one is an adult college reunion ending up in murder. Picking one to write on seems to reflect my mood. Feeling happy and fun I write on the children's, confident and serious I write on the reunion. My blog tends to be neither, but more about me me me and all my personal discoveries which no one really cares about, but I try to put what I have discovered into some sort of inspiration for others but maybe others are inspired enough and just want to read about writing or at least something funny.

Not sure what this makes me.

How do you see yourself in your writing, and does it really matter?

JinxVelox
08-28-2011, 03:58 PM
Hmm... I never concern myself with genre, age-group, or any of that when I write. The first thing I do is get the story out of my imagination. The next thing I do is look at it and say "Who will want to read this?" It is usually after the fact that I ask myself where the story will fit into the reading world, if anywhere.

Like you, I often choose which project to work on based on my mood. ^.^

Bubastes
08-28-2011, 04:09 PM
I'm not sure I understand the question. What do you mean by "should be writing"? I write what I want to write.

seun
08-28-2011, 04:45 PM
I don't really think about it. I just write the story that wants to be told.

scarletpeaches
08-28-2011, 04:49 PM
I just write about people who do stuff.

Most of that 'stuff' happens to be shagging.

Snitchcat
08-28-2011, 05:20 PM
IME, fiction-writing is different to other commercial enterprises because you need a finished product before you find a market for it. The majority of the commercial world reverses this: a market (niche or mass or something in the middle) is identified and then the product is created.

So, like the others, I write the story I want to write. Worrying about the genre before I've finished the story, IMO, is not efficient use of my time or imagination. I'll worry about that when I have a product ready to market.

Darkshore
08-28-2011, 06:51 PM
I write what I love to read.

Jamesaritchie
08-28-2011, 09:11 PM
There is no "should". Write what tickles your fancy. I do think that writing something without deciding on genre and age group first makes it incredibly difficult to write something publishers will want. Genre has meaning, each genre has its own demands, and damned few writers, even highly experienced writers, can meet these demands without knowing what they are upfront, and intentionally writing a book that meets them.

But there's still no should about it. I simply decide which genre I want to write, what age group it's for, and then sit down and write it.

I pick the genre, decide on age group, find a title I like, and just start writing. No should or shouldn't about it.

butterfly
08-28-2011, 10:34 PM
I'm not sure I understand the question. What do you mean by "should be writing"? I write what I want to write.

Sorry for the delay, Buba. Irene's been messing with us today.

What I mean is, I write what I like to write, what makes me happy, and what I feel I can write well. That doesn't mean I'm writing what I should be writing and by should be I mean maybe I'm better at a different kind of writing but don't know it because I'm spending time writing the stories I like.

butterfly
08-28-2011, 10:46 PM
There is no "should". Write what tickles your fancy. I do think that writing something without deciding on genre and age group first makes it incredibly difficult to write something publishers will want. Genre has meaning, each genre has its own demands, and damned few writers, even highly experienced writers, can meet these demands without knowing what they are upfront, and intentionally writing a book that meets them.

But there's still no should about it. I simply decide which genre I want to write, what age group it's for, and then sit down and write it.

I pick the genre, decide on age group, find a title I like, and just start writing. No should or shouldn't about it.

Well, I don't spend much time thinking about what publishers want, especially after I read about JKR and Kathyrn Stockett going through a multitude of agents before being picked up. I figure if I like it and a few other people like, or if it's for kids and they like it, I'm going for it.

Just sayin'

Smish
08-28-2011, 11:08 PM
I write what I prefer to read - kidlit and YA. :D

Linda Adams
08-28-2011, 11:48 PM
I'm probably the poster child for figuring out where I fit. I read a lot of different books in different genres. But when it came to writing, I had a really hard time figuring out what exactly I should write.

I think it helps to focus not on the genres you like, but the elements you like. I arrived at where I'm writing because I identified that I like action, adventure, and fun -- but I don't want to write about sex, romance, or gratuitous violence. I actually got there because I was writing thrillers, and I was starting to see a trend of gratuitous violence and crime thrillers, which I did not want to write. So I figured out what was drawing me to the books I was reading.

Susan Littlefield
08-29-2011, 12:50 AM
I write what I like to read, which are thrillers and mystery. Come up with a thriller or mystery situation and start writing. I don't always have a title right away, but it generally does not take long.

No should exists in writing. Just sit down and write whatever you feel like writing.

bearilou
08-29-2011, 01:46 AM
Hm. Interesting question. I never considered that what I love to be writing isn't what I should be writing.

I guess it's because I believe I should be writing what makes me happy. Which I am. Therefore I am writing what I should be writing!

AmsterdamAssassin
08-29-2011, 02:19 AM
I just write about people who do stuff.

Most of that 'stuff' happens to be shagging.

Same. Except the shagging part. They're awfully keen on killing each other though...

bearilou
08-29-2011, 02:25 AM
Same. Except the shagging part. They're awfully keen on killing each other though...

shagging...killing...they're almost the same, right?

...or am I doing it wrong?

blacbird
08-29-2011, 05:46 AM
From the results, I'm pretty sure what I write isn't what I should be writing. Problem is, that doesn't help me decide what I should be writing, except perhaps the obvious answer: Nothing.

caw

PaulyWally
08-29-2011, 06:26 AM
Well, I write more plays than anything. So I tend to write the story that "wants" to be written at that time. It comes from an impulse. And I expand, nurture, and exploit that impulse into a larger story. Genre is almost irrelevant.

This is probably why I love impulse exercises so much. They really help me reach into my subconscious and discover what the impulse is, why it's there, and what it's trying to tell the world. Plus, I sometimes learn things about myself that I never even knew were there.

Kyla Laufreyson
08-30-2011, 03:26 AM
I write the kind of books that I think I'd like to read.

Shadow_Ferret
08-30-2011, 03:38 AM
How are you sure what you write...
...is what you should be writing?


If it isn't what I should be writing I'm in a heluva lot of trouble because what I write is the only thing I can write.

flarue
08-30-2011, 03:47 AM
How am I sure? I don't know. I just know when it feels right. I go into the zone and start writing whatever comes to mind.

Tirjasdyn
08-30-2011, 11:21 PM
I have an idea and I write it down.

That's all writing is. If you don't have an idea that you must write down then you're probably not a writer.

JimmyB27
08-31-2011, 12:08 AM
Sorry for the delay, Buba. Irene's been messing with us today.

What I mean is, I write what I like to write, what makes me happy, and what I feel I can write well. That doesn't mean I'm writing what I should be writing and by should be I mean maybe I'm better at a different kind of writing but don't know it because I'm spending time writing the stories I like.
Personally, I think that the first pre-requisite for what you write is that you must like it. If you don't, if you can't get passionate about it, how can you expect any of your readers to?

AmsterdamAssassin
08-31-2011, 01:23 AM
shagging...killing...they're almost the same, right?

...or am I doing it wrong?

I don't know. Is your bedroom littered with corpses?

You know the joke about the test for Indian bravery?

RemusShepherd
08-31-2011, 07:23 PM
...is what you should be writing?

You don't. You probably never will.

It all depends on your goals, of course. Do you want money or fame? Do you want to make a mark in society? Do you want to advance literature? All of these are different goals that will be served by slightly different books. If you're not clear about your goals then you cannot know whether a project is going to serve your goal.

But even if you know your goal, it's hard to tell if a story is helping you get there. Would you be better in one genre or another? With happy or somber stories? All you can do is try multiple paths, writing one story and then the other and trying to sell them both, and that's an experiment that takes years to complete. During that time everything changes: The readers' tastes, the marketplace, and most importantly you'll have changed as well.

I'd say the best thing to do is write what you love, except that may not match your goal. Lots of hacks write hack books that they hate but that serve their goal, which in their case is to get a paycheck. Know your goals, and then trust your instincts to get you there.


How do you see yourself in your writing, and does it really matter?

My goal is readership. I don't need money, I want eyeballs. I have a disease in my brain that makes me tell stories. I want to infect as many people as possible with it, and the eye sockets are my preferred vector of infection. I want to skullfuck the world. That's my clearly-defined goal. :)

Right now I'm trying to find the balance between marketability and the pure craziness that I want to deliver. My last novel was on the far edge of 'crazy', but in the current WIP I'm trying to write 'restrained'. The next novel will be a little crazier. Eventually I'll find the sweet spot.

GFanthome
09-01-2011, 06:36 PM
I don't even think about stuff like that. Whenever a story comes out of me, it is what it is. I never purposely set out to write a novel that will fit into a certain genre.

___________________
One Broken Wing (http://gfanthome.wordpress.com)

flarue
09-07-2011, 12:50 AM
My goal is readership. I don't need money, I want eyeballs. I have a disease in my brain that makes me tell stories. I want to infect as many people as possible with it, and the eye sockets are my preferred vector of infection. I want to skullfuck the world. That's my clearly-defined goal. :)



Well said lol. I feel the exact same way.

Sunnyside
09-07-2011, 05:17 PM
I write non-fiction because I can't plot.

AlwaysJuly
09-07-2011, 10:45 PM
I have an idea for a story and I write it. If it's too bloody hard to write, it's not what I'm meant to write (at least, at that time). That's my guideline.

Hiroko
09-08-2011, 01:33 AM
I like reading the genre I like, watching the genre I like, and discussing the genre I like.
Oh, and I like it.
There was next to no debate in my mind when I thought about what genre I'd like writing.

Of course, I read more than just sci-fi, but whenever I come up with some idea, my mind automatically tries to add sci-fi elements.

Phaeal
09-08-2011, 02:32 AM
To paraphrase Howard Roark to Peter Keating: "How could you stand NOT to know?"

I don't have any problem knowing what to write. It's my article of faith that I can't really be so weird that no one in the world will want to read it. Right? Right???

:D