Friday, April 10, 2015

Question from a Writer - More on Branding

I thought I would take some time to wrap up the discussion from two days ago and answer Kate's question

I'm a little confused, and so now I have a question.

The message I got from Scott's post was that some writers were writing to try and "please" him -- rather than perfecting their writing craft in the genre they prefer (and submitting where appropriate.)

And the message I got from Marilynn's post was that the genre in which you might prefer to write could be wrong for you. Voice dictates what you should write and submit.

My question: Do we choose the genre we love and work to make the voice right? 
Or do we first discover our voice and then find the genre it fits into? Where does writing from the heart come into the picture?

Marilynn's response to my post is, at some level, right on the money. It is important to experiment with the genres and find a voice. The confusion, I believe that is happening is that I am not talking about experimenting with genres. It is to do what Marilynn did and to find your voice, AND THEN, stick to it. 

What I have seen, I and I have said this before, are authors who are all over the place. They have this belief that if they can show a "portfolio of diversity" or this thought of "Hey editor, I'll write whatever you want" is a good thing. The end result, however, is simply a person who is dabbling in a lot of things and not finding that true voice. 

In answer to your questions Kate...

First of all, there are indeed people out there who are writing in the wrong genre. The issue is not so much writing in a genre they prefer and it is wrong, but writing in a genre they "think" is for them but is wrong. This is the case that Marilynn pointed out. She started out wanting to write category but it was the wrong area for her. 

I do say to find the genre you love and "work" at it like you are pointing out Kate. But this work takes time. It is not going  to be perfect right from the beginning. 

Now, to answer this last part, and this might be getting a bit sidetracked, but I do want to address the "writing from the heart" element. You can write from the heart, but it is important to remember that you may write the story from your heart, but it becomes something we cannot market. This could be due to timing of the market. This might simply be a story that has not "shelf" it can be placed on for the readers. It served a purpose to you, but that would be it. You can self-pub it, but it is important to remember it may not be the money maker.

Great conversations Marilynn and Kate! Best of luck to the two of you with your writing!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! so much for answering my question. I learned something. That there are two roads to finding yourself as a writer. Develop a voice for the genre you love or find your voice and then the correct genre. Since I can't imagine writing in any other area but romance, I'll be working on the voice and finding the area of romance best for me. Good to know that I'm on a path that is right. Again, thanks.
    Kate M.