Don't let anybody tell you how to write

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Rath Darkblade
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Re: Don't let anybody tell you how to write

Postby Rath Darkblade » Tue, 10 Jul 2018 8:57 pm

Yep. Writing is like eating: you have to listen to your gut. ;)

What I mean is simple: if you have stomachaches after eating (as I did for years), you can try different diets, take different medications, and go to all kinds of doctors (as I did for years) - or you can just listen to your stomach, try different foods and see what works for you. Because it's your stomach, and everyone's is different.

It's the same with writing. Write what comes from within and see what happens. You might need to edit a little here, move a comma or a full stop there, but it will sound perfect to you - because it's your story, and everyone's is different. :)
There is nothing wrong with nepotism, so long as you keep it all in the family. (Winston Churchill)

HermanJ
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Re: Don't let anybody tell you how to write

Postby HermanJ » Wed, 11 Jul 2018 1:29 pm

You must write what feels correct for you....

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Josilver
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Re: Don't let anybody tell you how to write

Postby Josilver » Wed, 11 Jul 2018 10:05 pm

Argh. I recently received the feed back from a competition I entered. It ranged from I love it- a few tweeks and you could publish this to it was dull and boring you should not have bothered entering.

Hard to know whether or not to crawl under the covers and never come out.

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Rkcapps
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Re: Don't let anybody tell you how to write

Postby Rkcapps » Thu, 12 Jul 2018 12:01 am

I'm sure the ones who loved it were more your target audience than those who didn't. I suppose you've just had your first taste of what it's like to publish. Not everyone will like it. It's a hard pill to swallow when we've worked so hard on something we love.

Sounds like congrats are in order :) great news that some loved it.

My 2 cents, to take or leave it. Find a crit group you trust, who is in your genre. Hopefully, they'll bring even more out for your story and convert the readers who weren't on your side.

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CageSage
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Re: Don't let anybody tell you how to write

Postby CageSage » Thu, 12 Jul 2018 9:37 am

I look at it as an audience thing - if the ones who don't like it are easily identifiable, they are not the target audience for this book/story. It's a cheap way to find that out while not having to suffer low public reviews.
I found out the hard way that even though I think my stories are YA, the YA readers don't. I don't put YA on my stories anymore.
having even one or two who 'loved it' is a real bonus - find out as much as you can about these people, because they are the audience for those stories! A huge bonus. Aim at these ones and you lose the risk element of the non-audience saying bad stuff.
So, yet - congrats! People loved the story.

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Rkcapps
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Re: Don't let anybody tell you how to write

Postby Rkcapps » Thu, 12 Jul 2018 12:19 pm

Good point Cage, it is a cheap way to learn how to target your audience. Take heart, Jo, it's all part of the journey and you're on your way. Writers are masochists who wear their soul on their sleeves. That feeling of wanting to get under covers is natural. Learn to ignore it. You're doing something right. Be excited! Focus on the type of readers who liked it.

I recently had a beta reader tell me he struggled with mine. Yes, there were fundamental problems but I realised one major thing. Besides the fact he felt I needed to follow his cookie cutter formula (which in parts is okay, but the thing is, I don't want to write a cookie cutter story, I want a story that resonates in other ways. I want to create a place of wonder) the main thing I realised, I had stupidly asked someone the polar opposite of my target audience to read it! I'm targeting 16 year old girls and this was a 65 year old man. Of course he struggled! He was a paid beta reader, so I can take away some of his advice, but I need to be careful 'what' or I'll damage the story.

Interesting you say that about YA, Cage. I'm wondering if mine won't be. I'm not sure the 'wonder' is enough. I've lined up a close friend's 16 year old daughter to read mine. She's bang on my target audience. She's an active fantasy reader and writer, active on Wattpad. So, we'll see. I'm tearing the ending apart up again, so she can't read it until I'm done, and the editor sees it, and I make her suggested changes :)

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CageSage
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Re: Don't let anybody tell you how to write

Postby CageSage » Thu, 12 Jul 2018 12:51 pm

My problem was more that there are more female YA readers than male, and I targeted two of the stories to male YA (good beta readers in that range at the time, who enjoyed it), but the females really didn't like it at all. How do I write a clearly defined blurb that says: for the boys; this one is for the boys! Or the men, the men! The categories when publishing don't specify - maybe I need to consider the covers to shape the look for the specified audience? Hmmmm...
But I do write for other audiences (as in younger, mature, older, gender defined/non-defined, etc.), so ...

I no longer have the same beta readers, some gone elsewhere, some gone on to other worlds, some too busy with 'life' things. It takes time to train a beta reader to give back more than a smile or a 'I liked it' - and those people are gold (or chocolate, depending on what they love most!).

And if I consider HP (cos who doesn't love HP?), the first story was MG - middle grade! But the defined target audience loved it so much that it spread like wildfire ... so, we continue to dream, but make sure to target the defined audience for our story, however we can.

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CageSage
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Re: Don't let anybody tell you how to write

Postby CageSage » Thu, 12 Jul 2018 12:52 pm

and I think getting any feedback at all is amazing! Rare!


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