Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Write What You Know

It is time to talk about following trends in the market as well as what you should be writing for your stories.

I always find it interesting the number of authors out there, who, despite all of the comments agents and editors make about "not following trends" are out there following trends and trying to write in the new hot genre. When YA came on board as being "the new thing" authors who hadn't read anything in the YA genre since they were kids or they had kids in their house, dove in with full force. We saw the same with chick lit, romantic suspense, and now with "New Adult."

So what is the problem with this? It comes down to one simple question. What do they know about this genre?

Every genre out there has its own unique twist of intricacies. Young adult is not simply about writing with teenage characters. New Adult isn't just about writing stories with those 19-22 year olds. Scottish Historicals are more than guys running around in kilts saying "Doona." Unfortunately, I do believe that far too many authors are believing just that and the consequences are probably not what we want.

First of all, for many authors, the number of rejections go up. It becomes very clear to an editor or agent in those submissions we read. The writing is forced, the language becomes stereotypical and cliche, and the life of the story is just not there.

Secondly, and I do think this is a bigger one than we want to consider, the quality of the over-all writing we see hitting the book shelves is declining. We see publishers throwing their already-known authors into these genres and, although the books may sell, the stories really lack that quality we liked so much when they were writing in the other genres they knew well.

Now I am not saying you cannot write in other genres. What I am saying is that you need to take the time to really learn that genre first. Do your research. Read the authors who have been working in that genre first and dissect the heck out of their stories.

You may find some great success!

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