Thursday, April 14, 2016

There Are Always Different Approaches To Writing

I believe that a lot of new writers struggle a lot with approaches to writing. There is this belief, especially after reading a craft book, or taking a workshop that there is only way way to do things. There is only one way to write a synopsis. There is only one way to write a query. If you are writing a YA or New Adult, it must be in 1st person. This is far from the truth!

Writers need to understand that there is no right or wrong way for doing pretty much everything in writing and publishing. But, with that said, there are certainly wrong ways of doing things.

The approach you take with your story is dictated by the story and your voice. If your story is going to work best in first person, then write it in first person. If your story needs a prologue, then put one in. It is important to note here, that I am saying the story dictates this. You simply cannot say "Well, I like writing in first person." That may be the case, but this story you are working on may not like that approach.

But, does this mean you can do anything you darn well want and if someone rejects your story, it is their fault. Absolutely not. When we say there are a lot of different approaches, we still have specific parameters we are working with. Remember, this is an industry and a business. If you want to write for Harlequin, the you need to meet the parameters of their individual lines. If you want to submit a story to them, you need to follow their guidelines for submission. The same goes for the agents out there. They too have guidelines. They also have specific likes and dislikes. This means making sure you adapt your writing and your approach.

I simply want to remind you to not take things too seriously when it comes to approaches. If you read something on this blog that says, I recommend writing a query letter one way, and Janet Reid over at Query Shark takes another approach, that's fine! Guess what, both approaches work!


  1. Scott,
    This is a great post about approaches to queries. I was just wondering about the very thing you're writing about here. On a side note, thanks for this website. When so much advice to writers falls into the category of heavy-handed and didactic, you're the guy who says, 'calm down. There's more than one way to screw in a light bulb.'

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  3. Like Michelle, I really find this such a valuable site for writer advice. Even though I don't write in the genre you handle, your advice holds firm for every genre in my opinion.