It’s not like you have to bonk me over the head with it … okay, you totally do. But eventually, it will sink in. What is “it” this time? Well, it’s the writing method that has finally gotten me to go “ohhhhh…”
You see there are two schools of thought about writing.(prolly more, but I’m only dealing with two today) 1) The write the story of your heart school and 2) Write for the market school. When I first started writing I knew nothing about the market and I spent a year writing stories I would love to read. They didn’t sell. (Of course it never occurred to me that the writing sucked eggs … but that’s a blog for another time.) In my mind, I wasn’t fitting what the market was clamoring for.
I’m all about research, so I set on my merry way to figure out what readers were buying and what publishers were contracting. I stumbled upon erotic romance. Now I love reading erotica. How hard would it be for me to write a story I loved and open the bedroom door? It wasn’t. *poof* The Healer’s Garden was born! Then came the Tilling Passions series … wonderfully fun and challenging to write. Ya know, with the whole “stand alone, but tie a suspense thread” through the whole series. A challenge and a joy to write.
And through all this I watched and learned what readers were buying, what they were looking for … so to speak. (Though as any publisher or writer will tell you, there really is no crystal ball and things could change with the next phase of the moon.) Anyway, I jumped feet first into an anthology of wolf shifters. I knew nothing about them. But I knew erotic stories of furry shifters were big sellers. *poof* Blue Moon Rising was born. (Okay, it’s not like *poof* because there was a TON of research involved, but you get the idea.)
I fell in love with them. I’m now in the middle of a three book shifter menage series. But I’m going to say something that’s probably not a good thing to admit … I’m stalled. I mean I love this series, well, the premise of this series. But the finer details ellude me. And I think I figured out why.
Instead of starting with the whole “what if…” I’m thinking “I need to write a story about a shifter who has two partners.” THEN I’m trying to figure out the story. And this just isn’t working for me. With every other book I thought “What if a virus killed off the male population?” or “What if drugs were running up the Maine coast?” or “What would happen if someone got involved in the Internet porn industry?”
See the difference?
And apparently so does my muse. She seems to have taken a vacation until I stop writing what I think will sell and writing the stories in my head and heart. At the moment, those two things aren’t meshing. It is a balance. And I will eventually find it. In the meantime, I’m off to haul my margarita-drinking, cabana-boy-flirting, toes-in-the-sand muse back to her corner of my very messy desk. She needs to get her butt in gear and fall in love with these shifters as much as me!
But before I go, I am curious … how do you choose your stories? or do they choose you?
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