Sunday, July 18, 2010
WRITE WHAT MOVES YOU
It seems simple enough. At first glance, one would think that the above advice should be a given - something that one wouldn't even need to think about. But to be honest, it's so much harder than you may think. The idea that a writer should focus on creating what they love, with no thought to what's popular or selling or wanted is so much easier said than done.
My own dilemma involves the fact that I love YA paranormal romance...and I mean that when I say it. I read almost every one that comes out, and when it comes down to it, if the story is completely based in reality then I'm not interested in it. Hell, I live in reality every day, why would I want to read about it =). So, as you can see I love, love, love paranormal romance, so of course that means I write...you've guessed it - paranormal romance. Problem is, the market is saturated with it right now. Due to the recent popularity of Twilight and other paranormal stories, every writer out there is taking their chance at what's become a hot genre. So, where does that leave me?
I'm a pretty good writer, but with the market being so flooded right now "good" just may not be enough. I just read how when agent and writer Mandy Hubbard was looking over queries she saw one that she really liked and that would've worked a few years ago, but in this market it just wasn't enough. So, what now?
Well, what every agent and editor is looking for at this moment is Middle Grade. So, of course, it makes sense that I should work on writing that. But with the exception of Harry Potter and a few other stories, I'm not all that into MG. I tried to think on a new MG story. I even thought on reworking an old book that I love, but that doesn't have a relationship in it and could be made into a MG. But when it came down to it, I couldn't make myself get this new YA paranormal romance out of my head. And I have another one pushing right up behind that story - both are itching to be written, waiting to be put down in black and white. So I struggled. I went back and forth trying to think on what to do - and then I remembered a piece of advice I gave to a critique group member and friend Barbara: Write what you love.
Is YA paranormal romance super popular right now? Yep. Does that make it more difficult to break in? Hell yeah! Will that stop me? No.
When it comes down to it, I have to go with my heart. I can't write what I think this agent or that agent will want, or even what I think will sell big. I have to write what appeals to me and hope that, one day, someone else will listen up and think it's as great as I do. It may take me ten years, but I know if I keep pushing at it then I'll reach my goal.