Post November 29, 2009, 02:00:15 PM

dissension in the ranks

Write what you love or become angry and bitter. Someday you might make it big and then someone will want all the crap you've written but couldn't sell.

I don't buy that. I've written what I thought the market wanted and I've written stories I've loved. No one wanted either, and both made me bitter. Obviously, I could just be a lousy writer, but I think it's safe to say I don't suck. I may not be good, but I'm sure I'm not terrible.

I think a better strategy is to write when you have a story inside you that needs to be read, which is not the same thing, technically. The last challenge example I wrote was about a man who beat his son to death. I didn't love that story, but I felt it needed to be read by its target audience, i.e. mostly the other challenge authors. Most people don't try to make emotional connections (or revulsion) in their stories, and they should, in my opinion.

Furthermore, our audience needs entertaining, be it through humor, adventure, shock, or romance. It's our job to move them, to engross them, to compel them to forget about life's troubles, to make them skip tv, movies, books, and the rest of the internet's offerings and instead read your story. In that way, you do have to write for your market a little. You have to monitor your own writing to expect how your audience will react, and make sure they will have some measure of satisfaction or experience by the end.

Writing what you love is a good way to become a starving artist. My way you may still starve, but at least you're pretty sure you've entertained the reader at the other end.

You've reached somebody.

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