08 July 2013

Embrace Your Book

Or a better title, Keep Calm and Do What Your Muse Tells You to Do.

Have you ever panicked when you look over the bestseller lists or started to read some award winning book and you just didn't understand it? You look over the books that everyone is reading and you have no idea why--because clearly they're just books that everyone reads because everyone else is reading them. They're cranked out every other week by some famous author with armies of ghost writers. They're not even that good. And the books everyone says is good? It's like you can barely grasp at why these books get good reviews and win awards. You can understand that they're well written, but nothing clicks when you read them. You're bored. You might even feel stupid or that you just don't get it.

So where do you fit in, if you don't feel comfortable in either of these groups?

Everybody wants their book to be a mix of these things. A hot bestseller, but well-written and prestigious. But chances are, you can't have both. There's a good chance you won't have either, but let's not get too depressing here. There's an audience out there for your book, but the first step is knowing exactly what your book is, and not what you want it to be.

Chances are, you started your book with a simple idea, maybe even just a character. But somewhere along the way you had to ask yourself exactly what kind of book you wanted to write. An epic fantasy? A trashy romance? A coming-of-age story? It isn't just about genre, either. You had to choose a writing style, get into a groove with the voice, all the while considering exactly who would want to read your book.

You could get into trouble if your answer is, "everyone." There is no book that every single person is going to like. Even the popular books are hated by someone. So if you try to write your book and please everyone at the same time, the writing will seem disjointed. It won't have a set style. It'll be all over the place. And no matter how good a story it is, it will be bad.

Let your story speak to you. Let it be what it needs to be, not what you desperately want it to be. If you get distracted by long term goals, you could lose sight of the actual story. And you could lose what is great about it. Sure, everyone wants the bestseller list. Everyone wants a Pulitzer. And it's ok to dream. But you have to be realistic, too. When you're writing your first draft, the only person you should be trying to please is yourself. Because you know your story, and you know what it needs to be.

And now for something completely different...

Vacation Stats!

Word Count: 1,838. I would have pushed it to 2k, but I finished the scene I was working on. Plus it was 1 AM. I was sleepy. But the best part? I rewrote the horrible mess that was the hand job scene. And I'm probably experiencing post-scene adoration, but I LOVE it. I think because I managed to have some great subtle dialogue as well as not repeating the same actions over and over again. Plus, it's pretty damn sexy.
Poems: Nada.
Blogs: One, obviously.
Reading: Almost through with my 112th reread of The Catcher in the Rye (or maybe it's just my third, but who's counting? It feels like 112). Holden's definitely a big influence for Jordan's character, but it was one of those things I realized after the fact (psychic???). So reading it usually puts me in the right mindset to write. Also! My Amazon order shipped and should be here on Wednesday! Boooooooooooks!


  1. Like the Monty Python reference.
    I'll never have award winning books, so ones that sell well is fine with me. It's more than I ever expected anyway.
    And funny, many of the best-selling and award winning books in my genre I don't care for.

    1. Ha, glad you got the reference! Any time I read an award winning book, I find myself wondering why it won that award. Maybe those books just aren't the kind I like to read.

  2. Glad you were able to get into your groove writing! I haven't done as much of that lately... I like to think the scenes we have fun writing are the same scenes readers will have fun reading.

    1. Thanks! I think what worked for me was to just sit down and force the words out, and stop worrying about it so much.