Should We Appeal To The Market or To Ourselves?

My answer is always to ourselves. Write what you want, write how you see the world. There is no one who can say whether your world is unrealistic, unless of course the people do not really face any consequences from their actions, nor any effects come from it.

And well, I dislike those who appeal to the market as it can change within a few years, the trends will change. Previously we saw a lot of paranormal books, these days it is tilting more to the superhero genre.

Most importantly, is that we as writers should be writing what we wished to read but never existed. To me, writing is personal. It is something like leaving a piece of your soul in your work, and that is how the work is original. As no one can ever copy the way you write things, the way you view things.

That is what I like stories which often explore a much more unique world, or take an already overdone idea and twist it in a way that makes it refreshing.

And right now, even when I’m asked to describe which genres my stories will fall into, I end up scratching my head. Because, it just doesn’t exactly seem to fit one. It stands out on its own.

That to me, is what writing is all about. Writing something that only you can write, and can make, but no one else.

And not copying the market, for I feel that there a lot of books which simply exists but have almost no meaning behind it. Those are the stories which I always forget when I read. As you can see quite often, that those books which sit upon the top of my list have something they wish to say, something that personally belongs as the words of the author. Or the worlds are unique to the author themselves.

Even those which don’t fall into having a meaning, a lot of them are entertaining and bring something new, a different an fresh kind of story as compared to others.

So, always write what you wish to see, write it in a way that you think is right. Don’t ever think that your work might be considered outlandish or unrealistic, just remember, it is always those works which leaves the biggest impressions in their minds.

What do you do to make sure that you’re writing what you want to write, and not what the market wants? Leave it in the comments below.

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What Do I Always End Up Writing?

It is one of the few things which I never understand about myself is that most of my works will have sequels before I say goodbye to them. And some of them are very very long, and turn themselves into sagas.

And I have tried many many times to think of it as a single book. But usually because I want to explore the world more thoroughly, I always have sequels or at least books which have sequels on the cards.

Although I rarely read long series in the first place, with the exception of The Shadowhunters, most of what I read has never gone past five books, and yet I always end up writing more than that.

And a lot of my works border onto the region calling nearly impossible to publish unless I’m a long time best-selling author, or self publishing is really the only option.

I do have the feeling why I end up writing such large works may be due to strong anime influences where works can go on for over a decade before its runtime is over.

Or that I simply let my imagination run as wild as possible to the point that I have explored every inch of the world, and by the end of the series itself it is definite that I will never return to it.

But let me think what you think of this, it is something that for some strange or weird reason I can never seem to escape. And when I try to elude it, I merely go to back to it, although thankfully writing a shorter work than if I had just let myself loose.

And of course, let me know what your writing experience covers. There was a good reason why I really need competitions to push myself into writing short stories, and well, it’s largely because by the time I finished the idea, it was usually longer than a novel.

Fanfiction: What Do I think of it?

It is a large debacle if you were to ask me about fanfiction. Some are bad, but some are well thought out, full of depth and takes a whole new spin on the original work. And at the same time, giving the vibe that most will see.

So, I say that it is a place where newbies and even experienced writers can practice. I have a couple of fanfiction ideas lying around, but I never really get to them as I’m doing other things. Even when I do, it mostly remains unfinished.

But nonetheless, it is a form of practice which I do enjoy. As you need to really grasp the nuances and characteristics of each character, and make them look well rounded instead of being a caricature or flat character. And when you insert an original character, one needs far more skill to pull them off than many think. Since most fandoms do have a strong hatred for them, and many times they resemble perfect, flawless characters who have zero story to tell.

That can really improve your ability to do characterization through action, words and even mannerisms and appearances.

Or whether your story is logical. This is also very important, whether the actions of each character is the same as what is told about them and whether it is similar to canon.

As well as whether your plot makes sense or has holes all around. In fanfiction, you may not be the one who understands canon the best and there are still people who can help you. Original fiction, you’re completely on your own in this regard.

So you can say that fanfiction allows many a writer to grow, and a place to just learn their craft. There isn’t the same kind of pressure that comes with original fiction, and although I never treaded into this. I never really got the confidence that I understood the work enough to be able to post it online. But in the beginning, that was how it was. I wrote plenty of fanfiction which never saw the light of day. It was just fun.

Until of course, I figured out that I wanted to be a writer. Some of my works still sit around in Google drive, or Dropbox. But it was my roots and did help me to start writing, even if it was just that little bit before I made the transition to original fiction.

So, I say that it helps writers grow and it is a beginning. We don’t need to come up with our own worlds, but we need good plot and strong characterization to pull it off.

What do you think about this topic? Leave it down below so we can discuss.

What defines a good writer?

I believe the answer is nothing. Except the burning passion to write and continue to write no matter what. And that we constantly seek to improve yourselves as writing can never be a craft which someone is perfect at. Mastering it is in due time, but perfection is impossible.

#1 All Of Us Have Different Dreams Even As A writer

Some dream of writing a literary masterpiece acclaimed by the world, others want to simply tell the best stories for the characters they love. Some simply want to be famous or want their story heard as far as possible. This are all different dreams.

Hence, it is pointless to assume that writers should have the same benchmark to mark them against. As we all have different wishes and dreams and especially in writing it will be different. So, I believe that almost nothing defines a good writer, except that they are driven, working hard and constantly seeking improvement.

#2 Writers need not be good at all sorts of things

Some writers jump genres even when it is not encouraged. Many write in the same genre over and over, building their name. We know Stephen King is the King of Horror, Agatha Christine became famous due to her mystery novels which is best-selling even till today.

There is almost nothing which says that a writer must be good at one aspect to be famous. Some write novels better, others are skilled at short stories. While some heavily prefer micro fiction or flash fiction. And some like me realize their ideas to be mostly serials.

Hence, it is difficult to say that a writer must be good at a particular aspect to be considered a good writer. Some are better at longer works, others are better at shorter works.

#3 We All Have A Unique Style

We all have a different style and voice when we are a writer and we are told to hone it. It is what makes us stand out amongst all of the others. And that it is how we leave our mark. Ideas are easily replicated as nothing ever has been so, what we do is either use our thoughts of the same premise, the same setting. Or how we use words to express ourselves.

And as such, some writers do better with longer words. Making it seem as though it has presence, it makes sense. Some writers are straight to the point and concise. So, you can say that there really is no benchmark as to what defines is a good writer. Other than passion of course.

So, I believe nothing defines a good writer apart from the fact that they are passionate and have the determination to struggle. What do you think makes a good writer? I will like to hear from you below?

How do I do Nano

Anyway, this month I have decided to take part on Nanowrimo, you can find me here. For once, I have decided to do so because it just so happened to have coincided with an idea that I got on Oct 30, while I was writing a novel that was getting scrapped.

But after almost ten days of Nano, I have managed to figure out what works for me and what doesn’t. Here are some of the tips which I have.

#1 Find Plenty Of Inspiration

When I was doing Nano, I spent a lot of time reading and watching anime. It certainly helped me, since it took me almost 2 hours to finish 2,500 words. Keeping inspiration or looking at new things helped to keep you inspired and enable you to create. Otherwise, you might just hit a dry spell. And when you do, you might find better ideas than the ones you did before.

#2 Set aside a large chunk of time just to write

Yes, I set aside a specific amount of time when there was no one bothering me or asking me to do things. It really helped in ensuring that I continued to write at the pace I did. Or at least in solitude. I need a quiet place to write. And the more I did, the easier it got to write even more. And hence, a large amount of time alone allows you to focus and concentrate.

#3 Turn Off Your Inner Editor

I have to say, that by the tenth day mark, my Nano novel is a hot mess and has plenty of inconsistency. I just went with whatever made sense and a lot of things changed within those ten days. I just resolved myself to shut down my inner editor otherwise, I will be editing and rewriting everything. And well, it is important when you have to write 50,000 words.

How Important Is Pacing?

Pacing needs to be just right, there is something that we cannot deny. I have read and dropped many books due to poor pacing, such as reveals happening too late in the story or something. Which tells me that pacing is important.

The right kind of pacing does depend on the story. Here are some questions which I think can help with deciding the pace you’re moving at. And to decide whether a story might need revision.

#1 Is There Breathing Space?

It is extremely important for many books, you cannot have too many reveals at one go. Have a moment where the reader can take a break from the non stop action. There are plenty of ways to make the breathing space seem less like fluff, but ensure that there is enough space so that it does not overwhelm the reader.

#2 Is something happening?

Usually this applies to a book around the first half, since I have read books that seemed to have zero plot movement for the first half or moves at a snail’s pace. And then, there are authors who save everything for the last book in a series, creating what everyone calls middle book syndrome where almost nothing happens but setting things up.

Pacing doesn’t need to be fast, but it must be able to move and reveal certain things about the character or perhaps a certain development. Something has to happen otherwise why is it even a book if the main characters do not go through a journey.

#3 Are all the characters still the same?

For me, character development need not always be good. And also, they need not to have grown, but something must be revealed about them and changes them. It doesn’t always have to be their personality, perhaps their attitude towards a certain issue. Or perhaps their perspective.

Or if you tend to write characters who don’t grow but have plenty of depth, and different aspects to his character that just need time to be revealed.

If your character at the beginning is still the same person, without anything that gives them more depth, then I will say that it may need some work.

So overall, this is how I judge pacing of a story. However, do tell if you have another opinion.

The Benefits Of Writing At Your Own Pace

I am a writer who does everything at my pace. I haven’t taken part in Nanowrimo, and nor will I think it is necessary to do so. By doing everything at my own pace, there are some benefits which I have found out too.

#1 A Better First Draft

If I write it all at once, my first draft may be littered with errors and most definitely plenty of plot holes that I need to clean up. But if I choose to take a slower time to think through all the details, or making rather major changes, I do end up with a better first draft. Or at least a draft where I know what I must do next, without me staring at the computer screen. No draft is perfect, but I do prefer having less work to clean up even if it means spreading the writing quite a bit. And well, Nanowrimo sounded a tad too stressful for me. And I probably didn’t want to write a book which I may have to rewrite all over again since I’m churning out words instead of thinking a little bit more before I write.

#2 It Allows You Space

Sometimes certain works just don’t work out, or you’re debating whether you should be continuing to write it. That happens from time to time, and sometimes you just need to have that space to ponder a little. And with my style, I tend to be writing more than one work at the same time. And when I do doubt my ideas a little bit, I listen to those thoughts and find out why.

Sometimes it can make me change several things or go to do research, since it has to be done sometimes. And when you’re not rushing frantically, it is likely to find loose holes in your story and start thinking of ways to fix it or make a really important note to remind yourself.

#3 More Discovery Can Be Done

This is especially so if you’re writing historical fiction or in fact any work that requires you to research a little bit into the world. Political situations, turmoil and various other issues. Sometimes you just cannot move on without knowing that little detail. And sometimes you can spend a day or two getting to really know a character. That always does wonders for me, where I end up researching semi-useless stuff which ends up becoming useful in the long run.

And during this long periods, it can be a good thing to really know your character better. And also develop the plot just that little better. Some of us plan better when we have something to start with. I’m one of those who might just jump into a story with a premise but end up planning a little bit on the way or keeping copious notes about the world.

Writing at a slower pace often means plenty of time to discover, perhaps something isn’t working out, or it feels off. Or when you realise you made a mistake in your ignorance(that happened to me too before). And that means time to really ponder all the other possible solutions instead or to gain better insight into the topic you’re researching.

I guess for a writer who has done this for almost two years and finds that it really works, which is why I prefer to write at my own pace. Do tell what you think about pace, whether you’re a writer who churns out thousands of words a day or one who struggles to even reach 500. I really want to hear from you what you think.