Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Writing Unique vs Writing to Market #IWSG


The IWSG Question of the month: When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?  

The short answer: A little of both. To a point.

The long answer: I’ve spoken to several writers who think writing to market means cheapening your craft. I’m not sure where they got that idea. If you want to publish with any kind of success, you’ll have to have some idea of where your story will fit in the market. 

It’s not enough to say it’s a Young Adult book, for example. What kind of YA? What are the subcategories? What are the reader expectations in those categories? It doesn’t mean you have to write cookie-cutter stories to fit into those categories. You can, but you don’t have to. 

With every story you write, you make it uniquely yours. You pour in your personal perspective, your ideas, your heart. 

Of course, you can always go the completely original route that blasts through genre walls, but you’ll have a harder time selling the story. Harder, but not impossible. You never know, you could trail blaze your way into a new genre. 

I’ve chosen the easier route. I write what I love and I just so happen to love some specific genres. They aren’t the wildly popular genres like many of the romance subcategories, but they have a loyal fan base. 

What about you? Do you write what you love to read or something completely different? 


This post was written for the IWSG. Every first Wednesday of the month, members post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG or want to learn more, then please go HERE

25 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lynda - yes I can see your point to be original ... especially if you've an enticing series as your Wielders' books are. I love yours - all the best - Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't write in a really popular genre either but I enjoy what I write and hope that comes through in the story.

Liza said...

Writing what you love says it all. If you enjoy what you do, the final product will come out better. I can't imagine trying to write in a style or for an audience that didn't suit what feels best inside me.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I see plenty of stories come through DLP that don't fit well, which means we can't use them. But it's a special one that is really unique AND fits.

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm completely with you. Find a genre you love and sink right in!

Nick Wilford said...

There's always the self-publishing option for genre-bending stuff that doesn't fit any particular mould. But it's the flip of a coin as to whether it finds a readership or drops like a stone. There's not a defined audience like there is with the mainstream genres so it's definitely a risk.

Carol Kilgore said...

My stories get dressed up in all kinds of things, but at heart, they're all mysteries.

Michelle Wallace said...

Whenever I feel excited about my writing, then the process usually flows. Writing what you love is the key!

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Aw, thanks, Hilary. You perked up my day :)

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

It definitely does come through

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

For me, writing with a passion for the story and the craft makes all the difference.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Gotta love those!

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Your stories shine with a love of your characters and the genre they're in.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Even self-publishing requires a knowledge of where you can best fit it. It's probably even more important if you want to find the right audience who will appreciate it.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I do love a good mystery

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I find that as well. :)

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

A quick explanation on these whacky comment placements. I used to have embedded comments, but I learned that people were having difficulty with Blogger leaving comments with a need to sign in to Google to use the system or something. So I've now change my comments to a pop up box. Doing that, it's moved all my responses into their separate lines....sigh.

Now you have to guess who I was responding to :P

Oh well, guess we'll have to stick with that.

Olga Godim said...

I don't write in the most popular genre - romance - either. I write speculative fiction because I enjoy reading it. Like you, I write what I love.

Damyanti Biswas said...

It works well for you Lynda :) I usually write the first draft for myself and then move on to my readers' perspective.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Very good points. Readers have expectations and if they're not met, they give a bad review or put your book down and never look at another one of your stories.

Diane Burton said...

Write what you love. If it fits a popular genre, great.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Olga, writing what you love and reading what you love is the key.

Damyanti, that's also a great method.

Susan, those expectations are a key element we need to include if we want our stories to sell.

Diane, exactly :)

cleemckenzie said...

Yay! It worked. I can now comment without any trouble. Congratulations on outwitting Blogger.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Hey Lee, I'm relieved it's all working now. Thanks for persevering.

J Lenni Dorner said...

Finding someone interested in representing and marketing a new sub-genre is especially tricky. Interestingly, getting someone interested in wider interpretations of a subgenre can also be difficult. (For example, not all urban fantasy has detectives or human main characters.)

“Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.”
―Anne Herbert
My IWSG blog post discussed my love of originality. I'm looking forward to the bout of books readathon and WEP's flash fiction later this month.
Life threw me a curveball with a neighborhood crisis this week, but we got through it.
Winnie the Pooh is the world’s Ambassador of Friendship. In the US, National Friendship Day is the first Sunday of August. #FriendshipDay2022

J Lenni Dorner (he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Reference& Speculative Fiction Author, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, and Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge