Monday, July 18, 2011

Number One Rule for Writers, Part Two

In Part One of this entry, we looked at the importance of having your heart in your writing.  However, there is a bit more to it than just that.  The next step is to figure out exactly what you have a heart for in your writing.  In other words, you know you want to be a writer, but exactly what sort of writer do you want to be?  How do you find that out?

Think about all the different kinds of writing that exist: Fiction and nonfiction.  Prose, poetry, and scripts (like for stage or movies).  Novels, short stories, and flash fiction.  Then there are more genres as you go along.  For instance, you decide to do fiction--great, but what genre?  Do you choose mystery/suspense, speculative fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, or horror), romance, historical fiction, etc.?  How do you choose?

The answer lies in turning the question around.  What do you like to read?  What sorts of movies and television shows do you enjoy the most?  What genre are you the most familiar with?  Whatever your answer to that is, that is the way you need to go.

I use myself as an example.  I'm most familiar with suspense, first in speculative fiction and second in mystery.  Because these are the genres that I know best, those are the ones with which I work and with which I feel mostly likely to be successful.  Because I don't read romance novels or Western stories, I wouldn't be as well served to make either or those my primary field.  Granted, I will occasionally incorporate a Western backdrop ("Darkest Before Dawn") or the relationship between a man and a woman ("Square Peg") as called for by a particular idea, but at that point they are included as a single thread rather than the tapestry itself.

So there you go.  Write what you like to read.  In Part Three, we're going to look at finding your own particular voice, which too will be an extension of where your heart is as a writer.  Until then, thanks for stopping  by.  Jesus loves you, I appreciate you, and remember, Philippians 4:13.--SMS

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