Monday, April 25, 2016
Adaptation Does Not Mean Giving Up Your Voice
Over the years, I have heard a lot of writers make comments about why they are a self-published author. I hear comments such as, "I want to write what I want," or, "I don't want someone to take away my voice. It is always a shame to hear authors make this comment because the simple truth is that your personal voice is not being taken away. This is all about audience adaptation.
Editors and publishing companies want new and unique voices. They want stories that are fresh and original. They do not want you to simply go out there and copy what everyone else is doing, and, it is this point that so many writers are missing. What writers are not understanding is that every publishing line out there has a unique voice and tone to it. They look for different approaches to stories. You can still write what you want, but you have to adapt some to make your stories work for who you want to write for.
If you want to write for Source Books, they are going to look for a different tone than if you want to write for St. Martins or Harper Collins. Simple things such as the amount of back story or even word choice is all that you are looking at. But, those small twists are enough to make the editors like or dislike your story.
When ever I talk about adaptation, I always like to refer to those musicians that have stood the test of time. If you look at what they are doing, they are always adapting to the time. Think about this list: Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Madonna, U2... I think you can see that. For those of you in the romance genre, look at Debbie Macomber, Nora Roberts, Brenda Novak... these people have not had to change their voice. I know the type of story I will get if I pick up any of their books, but, there is adaption.
Now, no one is going to "make you change." Remember that no one is forcing you to give up the story your are writing. However, with a few small tweaks, you too will be able to find success in this highly competitive market.