One of the side effects of taking such a long break from my writing, and, now, coming back to it, is that I've been giving a lot of thought to what kind of writer I want to be. Hence the terrible entry title. I know what I want to do, so I can skip the parachute books, but now I need to determine how I want to do it.
4/19/2012 01:36:00 PM
Posted by Katherine Beals
I don't like heading into things without a plan, and I feel like that has been a major deterrent in my writing so far, that I am wandering around without a coherent map to follow. So before I started drawing one I started looking through my bookshelf to think about whose career I'd most like to have, and how knowing that can help me draw the map I want to follow.
And aside from the JK Rowlings and the Stephanie Meyers of the shelf, I've chosen three authors whom I'd most like to be like when I grow up.
Richelle Mead, C.E. Murphy, and Rachel Vincent. I mean, seriously, look at those backlists. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of other authors who I admire. People who have written books that the prose will wishing I had written that or I could string sentences together in that way that can leave you breathless.
But the ladies above, while their writing is lovely, would definitely fall into the commercial fiction side of things. And I love that about them. Some of my favorite authors telling damn good stories, action packed, and more importantly, full of characters that I adore. And that is what I want to do.
Before my break I spent a lot of time worrying that my writing wasn't enough of this or that. And really, if you boil it down, I was reading things that get described as lyrical. As literary fiction. And that was the light I was holding my own work up to and trying to figure out why I wasn't that. But I don't write literary fiction. My voice will never be described as lyrical.
Comparing myself, my work, to those others was doing me a disservice. I writer commercial fiction. Most work will always be plot-driven stories centered around strong women who are either literally or metaphorically kicking butt. And I'm okay with that. Because looking at my bookshelf reminded me of something. So are most of my favorite books.
I would be ecstatic to have a career in writing half as successful as any of the ladies above. So now it's just a matter of deciding what to work on, and plowing through it until I find the right story at the right time and sell my first book. Now if I could teach myself to have the work ethic of Lynn Viehl or Lilith Saintcrow I'd be golden. Except for the fact that all I'm hearing lately is editors do not want anymore paranormal YA, and that covers about 80% of the ideas, and most of what I want to write. But ah well, that's another post for another time.