Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tuesday's Inspiration - How Not To Gain Readers #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove

Still reading an essay by John Hershey and came across a tidbit - actually three of the reasons writers write stories that aren't ways to gain reader. There are ways to gain niche readers but that's something different than sitting down and writing a book to antagonize readers.

Write in anger. So you feel really strong about a subject and you step onto the podium or stand on the park bench and let your anger buzz across the paper like a swarm of killer bees. Humorless anger will turn people off. Now there have been books written in anger but they contain a lot of humor and cause people to think and to react without having their emotions blazed away.

Write for catharsis - This can be done and can be a book people might read but not if there's weeping and whining across the pages of the book. All the emotional turmoil and confusion will produce the same turmoil and confusion in the reader. Writers want to be understood but he or she has to have command what they're writing and not wander around. Here discipline could make this kind of book readable.

Write for money. Sure we all want to make money with the writing but a writer can't sit down and say I'm writing this story for money. What they're trying to do is write to a formula and there's really no formula. Now this book could be badly written and may make money but that doesn't make it a good story.

So while you're looking for inspiration as you write write what you love and if you need to show anger, do it with a bit of humor. If you're confused make sure there's a discipline to the writing that keeps confusion from filling the pages with angst. As for money forget formulaic stories and write a good book. The money or the readers may come.


Kim Iverson Headlee said...

Catharsis writing can work if one channels the emotions into a topic not related to the event that caused the need for catharsis in the first place. This happened with me upon the death of a beloved cat who was more than twenty years old -- and it chanced that I was alone in the house that weekend, so I had to deal with it all solo. The result was the genesis of my novel LIBERTY, which was picked up by HQN Books a couple of years later and published in 2006.

For the record, however, the scene I wrote that weekend was not included in the manuscript I sent HQN, since I knew good & well that most romance readers do not want the heroine's funeral to be the book's epilogue. :)

Janet Lane Walters said...

I agree with using catharsis. I used it once to write a murder mystery. Someone had threatened to kidnap my young daughters. My panic and concern ended up being eased by killing on paper the person who had made the threat. That bit never made the final mss either

Kim Iverson Headlee said...

A threat to kidnap your... oh, my. I cannot top that one, nor would I wish anyone could. I trust the threat did not materialize. The closest thing that I've ever come to that was in dealing with something beyond nasty that happened to my husband several years ago now. As Paul Betany playing Chaucer in "A Knight's Tale" put it, "I will eviscerate you in fiction." And I did.

Janet Lane Walters said...

Phone company put something on my phone that traced the number of the caller in seconds. Was a neighbor who was upset because my youngest daughter was adopted and was biracial.