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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

#IWSG - Writing What YOU Want to Read

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a once-monthly blog hop aimed at sharing our doubts and concerns, while encouraging one another with assistance and guidance. As the lighthouse image suggests, it’s a beacon in the dark and a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

This month I'm fortunate enough to be co-hosting once again, alongside Nancy Gideon, Doreen McGettigan, Chrys Fey, Bish Denham, and Pat Garcia!

Like so many aspiring authors, it seems I've been treading water, fighting the waves of expectations. My ambitions have been blindly pushing a manuscript to the mainland of mass market publishing, when one glance above the waves would reveal the myriad of indie press islands and small press archipelagos around me.

I'm sure, if I kept beating my head against the rocks, I could eventually heave a manuscript up onto the shores of New York or California. The problem is it, that manuscript will be so water-logged and sun-bleached that it won't resemble the original ideas I fell in love with. It's time to stop treading water, begin writing for myself again, and see where the tide takes me.

I'm a weird guy with an odd imagination - and it's time to own it. I am never going to be able to successfully write fiction that's safe and palatable to the masses. I want to write a fantasy novel that's seriously f*cked up and gloriously bizarre. I want to write a horror novel that's obscenely twisted and stomach-churning. I want to let my imagination run wild and see who is crazy enough to chase it.

As it turns out, the stories I wanted to write are already there, lurking beneath the surface of my first drafts - and I'm having a hell of a lot of fun letting the monsters drag me down for a salvage tour of my forgotten shipwrecks.

54 comments:

  1. Well, looking at your reading list, I think you'll find me a fan of your writing concepts- if you're good at it. I'll keep my eye on your publications. I like twisted fantasy and horror, storylines that makes the reader shivver and think. And afraid to sleep alone. Keep those thoughts running and put them in a book. I'll buy it.

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    1. Thanks - I will keep you in mind come promo time. :)

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  2. Take a deep breath, dive down and write from the heart! What have you got to lose? Best of luck :)

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    1. Exactly. I've got nothing to lose but time, and I've come to realize that's never guaranteed . . . so waste away!

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  3. Go for it, Bob! You've reviewed enough of those kinds of books to know there's a market for it.
    Check with Milo James Fowler. He has made a career writing quirky and all over the genre map stuff.
    Thanks again for co-hosting today.

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    1. There's definitely a market. Maybe not that mass market bestseller realm I dreamed of as a kid, but one that fits nicely with my family, my career, and my lifestyle as it is.

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  4. I say be yourself, even if that means taking a less-than-traditional path. Just because the big guys reject it doesn't mean there isn't a market for it.

    Thanks for co-hosting. :)
    IWSG #119 until Alex culls the list again.

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    1. It's taken me a while to realize that, but you're 100% right.

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  5. Better I think to change where we send our book rather than completely changing the book in the hopes of getting it somewhere it doesn't naturally fit.

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    1. Exactly. The more you try to tailor or target a book, but less it feels like your own.

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  6. Hi,
    Sounds like you have made some heavy decisions about why you write and who you want to write for. Those are important decisions regardless of whether you want to be published traditionally or publish yourself.

    So, go for it. Do what you have to do and write it from your heart.

    Shalom,
    Pat Garcia

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    1. I think the hurdle was that I always wanted to write for a living, and I'm finally at a point now where I realize that I'd rather enjoy my life - and the security of a full time job - while I write what I want.

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  7. Write the book of your heart. If no publisher buys it, do it yourself. Love your analogy of ocean, islands, et al.Been there.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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    1. Thanks - nice to know there are others treading that ocean. :)

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  8. You are so right! It's all about having fun and loving what we do. Kudos to you, Bob! Thanks for co-hosting.

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    1. Exactly. When it starts being a chore and stops being fun, there's a problem. I smile now when I look at my manuscript, and that's the best feeling in the world.

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  9. Quirky, stomach-churning, different material? Yes, please.

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    1. Okay, you're going on the promo list with dolorah. LOL

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  10. Thanks for co-hosting. And you're right, just write what you want . You'll find a home for it somewhere. Like Beverly Cleary said, "If you don't see the book you want on the shelf, write it."

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    1. "If you don't see the book you want on the shelf, write it." Love it. That's where I started, and precisely where I need to get back to.

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  11. Writing for you and writing the story you want to write, and would want to read, is the best thing you can do. :)

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  12. I love to hear authors re-discovering their writing desire. I applaud you. When your writing is genuine it's more pleasing for both the author and the reader. Good luck! And thanks for hosting this month.

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  13. You have to write your stories. That's one of the reasons I self-published so I could write the stories that I wanted to write.

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  14. Yes, write the stories you want/need to write. Struggling with similar issues myself and a mainstream novel that I'm restructuring this month. However I am doing a new project solely to point at the masses and see if it generates any revenue. Good luck and thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG.

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  15. That is where i'm at too. It's crazy to try and write to the perceived market. We all do better if we write what we love.
    Susan Says

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  16. Those first drafts are really treasure troves, aren't they?

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  18. Hi Bob..Write the story that you badly want to write. Like you I too will never be able to write books that are safe and palatable for the masses :(

    Thanks for co-hosting IWSG.

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  19. Ah, same here! As much as I'd love to be picked up by a big traditional publisher.. I don't think my stuff is normal enough for that haha

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  20. Thanks for co-hosting today.
    Rock on and Write on!
    I love that you want to write stories that you want to read. I do the same, only it took me a while to realize that means the masses won't have anything to do with me. It turns out, that's a good thing. Now I get to focus on specialized interest groups.

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  21. Definitely write the novel you want to write, and let your imagination take you wherever it likes. That will be the novel others want to read.

    Thanks for co-hosting.

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  22. Yes! If you can't enjoy your own writing, what's to say anyone else will? I'm glad you're rediscovering your passion for writing for you.

    Thanks for co-hosting!

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  23. I appreciate the metaphors. I've been languishing in murky waters with my own writing far too long. The best advice I've heard today is to write what you want to read yourself, but it seems you've discovered that....so go for it! Thanks for co-hosting today.

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  24. There's a tsunami of talent out there and lots of trash floating on the surface. Keep paddling my friend!

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  25. The writer’s journey should be about the writing because it’s the only piece of the publishing puzzle we control. If we forfeit that freedom, we have nothing. Probably why, ’Write like no one’s reading’ is my motto.

    Wishing you the best of luck on your journey, Bob!

    VR Barkowski

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  26. I've always found my best work is the stuff that I enjoy, not what I'm trying to write to be acceptable to the masses. Don't worry about going against the grain--there's plenty of books that succeed despite--sometimes because of--that!

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  27. I think a lot more people than the old guard lets on are interested in these kinds of stories. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when they claim certain genres or stories won't sell, and keep publishing cookie-cutter, assembly-line, flavorless books which start to seem all the same after awhile. It was a big surprise to me, four years ago, when I discovered super-long historicals aren't popular with agents and traditional publishers. Many people I've mentioned this to have said they'd love to read more super-long books and agree with me that many books these days are way too short.

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  28. Yup, I think it's always best to write for yourself. If you don't you're likely to lose the joy of writing.

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  29. Writing for yourself, for me, = writing for the love of writing and reading, yup sounds like a good plan, Thanks for co-hosting,
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  30. You are a man after my own heart, Bob! I've always loved dark fiction - horror, fantasies, mixed with supernatural elements. Awesome. I read all genres now because I made a promise to myself to spread my wings. I'll always be a Stephen King, Dean Koontz type girl for sure. I'd love to read your stories and help out in any way I can. :D

    Thanks for co-hosting this month!! Eva

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  31. Thanks for co-hosting! I don't think I'm capable of not writing strange, bizarre fantasy stories.

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  32. After reading your post, I know you are a talented guy. Don't let anyone contain you in a box. Sounds like you have made up your mind to bust out. Best wishes!! Thanks for co-hosting.

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  33. Yes! YES! THIS! You will write them and we will read them and we will rejoice in the awesomeness!

    Keep moving forward!

    Thank you for being a co-host!
    Heather M. Gardner

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  34. It sounds to me like you'll be a great, innovative writer!!! I can't wait to read your work!!! Different is a good thing. Good Luck!!

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  35. Good luck as you proceed! Write what you enjoy; it's the only way to be true to yourself as an author. Thank you for co-hosting!

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  36. It sounds like you know what you want to do, so go forth and enjoy doing it. Good luck! Thanks for co-hosting!

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  37. What a beautifully-written post! :-) Lots of luck to you! And thank you for co-hosting!



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  38. I love the water analogy!
    There's a market for every kind of writer... so they say.
    Remain true to yourself and take the plunge!
    Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month!
    Writer In Transit

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  39. I already like the idea of what you want to write. That's why I'll probably never try to submit to a publisher: the fear of them shoving the story into a cookie cutter. We need less of those and more unique stories.

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  40. sometimes people are too ready to shelf that first draft permanently. You give all those folks hope.
    Thx for hosting this month.

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  41. Bravo. Be yourself. You'll never be satisfied unless you release that animal within. Don't tame it. Thanks for co-hosting. Blessings.

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