Monthly Archives: November 2014

On Personal Taste

There’s a lot that’s subjective in the business of being a writer.

That’s why it takes so long (usually) to find an agent in traditional publishing. You need the right timing and the right person to find your book, which can be difficult to line up. Nobody really knows a fast secret to getting an agent’s attention besides doing your research and presenting the best book possible.

Likewise, to reach the right readers, you need the right audience and the right timing. You should know who you are writing for and what they most like to read. I never worry about this until I’m editing (draft 3 or 4 or later) because the first couple of drafts are just for me, and what I want to read.

No matter how you release your book babies into the world, you should know that not everyone is going to love it. Also, not everyone will enjoy it in the same way. For example, I’ve read the first 13 chapters of Twilight more times than the whole book (or the other books in the series). That’s because, personally, the romantic tension and lead-up to their first kiss is the best part and I have no desire to read further since I already know what happens after that. Whenever I get an urge for some romance, sometimes I pick up my paperback of Twilight and read until I stop at the end of chapter 13. That’s just me.

Your readers will have their quirks, likes and dislikes as well. It’s not up to you to know all of them (how could you?) but keep in mind general reader desires in your genre. Always remember that personal taste changes a lot. One fan of YA dystopian novels may not necessarily like your YA dystopian for reasons that are out of your control. Just write the best book you can, and when the right readers come along, they’ll truly enjoy your story for what it is :)

How to Transition from Reading (About Writing) to Working

I’m writing this as much for myself as for those of you reading this. I know it isn’t just me who finds it all too easy, when I sit down to write, to do other writing-related things instead. Things like:

  • reading writer’s blogs
  • updating/reading twitter
  • adding pics to my book’s pinterest board
  • doing publishing industry research
  • playing with Photoshop (cover design)
  • reading the newest book on writing craft
  • research for a future book project

And more! Do you ever find yourself on the internet or doing other things when you’re supposed to be writing? Yes, it may be important and educational, but does it contribute to your book’s actual word count? No.

Don’t get me wrong – there are times to do those things listed above, especially at the beginning (research) and end (publishing stuff) of writing a book. But during the hours that you should be safeguarding for creating that next scene, you should focus on the writing.

Here’s how to do that:

  1. Nix all distractions. This means different things for different people. If you need silence to write, then music or background noise counts as a distraction. If you like writing on paper, then grab a notebook and get away from all devices that use the internet.
  2. Allow yourself some time for those other writing-related things. If you like to write in the morning then use your afternoons for the other stuff. Or pick one day a week devoted to the business side of being a writer.
  3. Know yourself – if you work better with a set schedule (writing every day from 7-8pm) or with flexibility (writing one hour a day at any time of day) then do that.

Let me know in the comments how you move from learning to creating, and how you focus on your writing.

NaNo WriMo Update

I know it’s been a while since I posted on here, but that’s going to change. I’m planning on doing a post twice a week (maybe Tuesdays and Saturdays or something) starting today.

As far as my NaNo-ing is going, I’m a bit behind, as you can see on my profile. But I’m not giving up!! I still plan to hit 50,000 before the end of the month, and I have 12 days left to do it. All of you who are taking on this challenge, whether you’re ahead, behind, or already passed 50,000 words, GO YOU!!! It’s awesome even if it just encourages you to write 100 words a day – you’re writing and that’s the entire point.