How do you decide what to write? Good question, correct? Interestingly there is really no decent answer to this. Write what you love has been an answer to this question for many years, but does it really answer it?
My idea of that is – maybe. Some of us love to read erotic works. However, if you cringe while even thinking about writing this type of stuff, then it will not be a good fit in the main. Your discomfort will come through loud and clear. I happen to fit into the very uncomfortable side of things, but I will tolerate graphic descriptions if it advances the story. That is the ONLY reason. Graphic sex for nothing but trying to put the value of the book up is not my type of pleasure at all. Guess that is the reason I am amongst maybe 100 people who have not read 50 Shades of Grey. 🙂
Anyone can write something if they put their mind to it. It all depends on how they feel about it. Stephen King wrote stuff that sounded like Raymond Chandler at times when he first started out. Then he developed his own unique style. Agatha Christie and Georgette Heyer both surprisingly wrote romances interspersed with their mystery murders and Regency novels. Of course, they used pen names, or Agatha Christie did. Her romance name was Mary Westmacott.
What interests you? As a kid, I loved the usual fare of Enid Blyton and horse books. ( I wish the Police of Whatever had not stuck their noses into things that were not insulting to whomever and had these banned.) But I also snuck off with my Uncle’s collections of Adam and others which had stories in them certainly not suitable for little girls. The female displays of those days were very uninteresting to a little girl of 10. But I devoured the stories in these magazines and consequently gave myself nightmares.
So I had a varied reading history. I was also known for reading the ingredients on the back of the Cornflakes packets, long before this became required reading for those watching their waistlines. But that was when my secret stashes became low.
These days, Harry Potter is still all the rage. Until some clown takes exception to something in it. Why do people install thoughts into children’s minds which were never there in the first place? The idea of reading I thought, was to let your imagination free. Which is why fiction appeals so much. These days our imagination is crippled by do-gooders who which to dictate what we do from waking until we go to sleep, what we eat, drink and recreate with. Never mind murder your darlings. Murder your imagination and thinking for yourselves instead.
These days our imagination is crippled by do-gooders who which to dictate what we do from waking until we go to sleep, what we eat, drink and recreate with. Never mind murder your darlings. Murder your imagination and thinking for yourselves instead. And this is good for us?
Stephen King makes a very good point when he describes his characters too. He supplies a base for you to imagine from and lets you run with it. Rarely does he give great blobs of information about the person, yet you can clearly see them in your mind’s eye. See this when you watch a movie made about one of his books. Jack Nicholson is about the only character who seems wholly taken from a book of King’s. The Shining is not a pleasant movie. Nor was the book. But neither were meant to be.
So what has all this to do with how you are going to make up your mind what you are going to write? It isn’t going to give you a direction. If you took as that, I am sorry. All I wanted to show you is you don’t have to choose one genre above another to start with. Often you will find that the genre chooses you after a while. Romance is highly desired as a wide genre. But like a good jigsaw, there are many components to make a whole. Straight romance, erotic, lesbian, gay, young adult, the romance section is very wide. If romance appeals to you, fiddle and experiment.
If you are really determined to make a mark, then you should be using all the gadgets you can use without going overboard to find something you want to write. These may include Google analytics or the numerous programs that can point out a niche that is low competition, high desire. But don’t just go out and blindly write a book before at least doing some research. Use all the available tools that you can afford or those that are free(some of these are worth more than those you pay for) to get every edge you can.
But never lose sight of the desire you had in the first place. You can please some of the crowd, no matter how small. If you want to write a book on the mating habits of gnats, go ahead. You will certainly not become rich, but you will meet someone’s reading desire somewhere. But if you want to make some money put some work into researching and finding a niche that resonates with more than one other.
The days of simply pleasing yourself and hoping to appeal to everyone are dead. Select a small demographic of people, further select something that appeals to this selection, whether it be fairy tales for children, financial studies for retirees or young romance for teenagers and see where you go from there. By small, I do not mean 10 or even 100. Picture these people in your mind. Roald Dahl wrote for children, but publicly said he disliked them a great deal.
You can do the same if you can keep this from showing. 🙂