You want to write a novel.
But what kind of novel? And no, I’m not referring to the genre and I’m not even referring to the validity of your idea (but if you want to find out if it’s valid or not, I’ll explain how to do it here). My question is about something more complicated and personal.
Although I have three novels to my credit, a fourth will be released soon (yeah !!!!!) and I published a pink handbook, in my journey I made at least two mistakes.
I HAVE STOPPED TO WRITE A STORY IN WHICH I BELIEVED, because an agent told me that it was a trend that was running out … but then it didn’t happen. The strand was by no means exhausted and I didn’t write a story I cared about.
I WRITTEN A BOOK DIFFERENT FROM THE ONE I WANTED, to follow the requests of a publishing house … but, even if it has succeeded, it is a book in which I don’t completely recognize myself, while in the readers the opposite has happened: when I wrote something that I it looked more like it, they didn’t recognize me completely because the initial imprint on me happened with a different type of novel.
To prevent you from making the mistakes I made (and many others), I decided to give you a small list of warnings related to this fascinating but inconstant and capricious world, to help you decide what to write.
1. Needless to follow trends
If the genre in vogue does not belong to you, writing will become very tiring. Moreover, given the technical time required to write and publish a novel, you risk that when you are ready, the fashion you have inspired has already passed.
Yes, self-publishing speeds up everything, but it’s really worth becoming one of the many authors who have published one of the many books of that genre, if that genre doesn’t belong to you to the end?
2. Be true to yourself
If you publish two erotic love novels as I did and then go to a play, you risk that the readers who read you and appreciated you with the first novels will not follow you anymore. Or, given the sudden turnaround, don’t know what to expect from you. Or they remain disappointed because they want a certain type of narration and have remained dry. The novels I published are proof that I can write, of course, but what kind of path have they built for me? A road that has become established, or a kind of strange staircase with a step here and one there, difficult to climb?
Be careful though. Nobody forbids you to change gender, to experiment, to find new stimuli, but the decision must always come from you, from what you are. Making a proportion, 70% of the decision must come from you and from what you want to write, 30% (or even less) from the market.
3. Write what you like
There is no need to just write about what you know. Or rather, I believe that the rule of writing what one knows must be reinterpreted.
First of all, if I write only about what I know I should talk about an author who spends her days in front of the computer, having lunch with the leftovers from the day before (when it’s good for her), doing the exercise bike while she is reading and accumulating magazines / books kitchen hoping to find sooner or later the time to put a dinner on the table as it should (because the ingredients appeared as if by magic in the fridge).
And besides, if we all had to write only what we know, Rowling shouldn’t have written Harry Potter but a guide for those traveling by train and Umberto Eco a treatise on medieval history.
Write what you like. Writing is a difficult path, in which you need a lot of motivation, a lot of patience, so much determination. If you don’t write a story that you like, you’ll probably find it hard to get to the bottom. Obviously, you can get help from best essays help online here but if you can do it on your own, you will have a lot of expectations, why the hell, did you write a book in the genre of the moment so you have to sell, so you have to get into the rankings, so … But then it doesn’t happen and you get hurt, you’re disappointed, you start to make comparisons, start looking for explanations (believe me, I know what I’m talking about).
If instead you wrote something you love and the results were not what you expected, in fact, maybe you didn’t even find a publisher, or the self-publication turned out to be a flop, despite the natural disappointment that no one can erase, you will still continue to be proud of you, you will continue to love that book, because it has not betrayed you. It was simply what you wanted to write. And it will be a book that you can always propose, even tomorrow, because it will always be you.
4. What you don’t know can be learned
If you are passionate about a topic that you don’t know, you can always find information, document yourself, ask, collect the necessary notions to write them in a credible way. So if you want to write the story of a trapeze artist, why not? Just because you never set foot in a circus doesn’t mean you can’t think of doing it, documenting it.
5. Emotions can be imagined
Following the rule that you only have to write about what you know, how many emotions you shouldn’t talk about? How many relationship problems should you set aside? If you are not an orphan, how can you talk about a girl who has lost her parents? If you have never experienced hunger, how can you describe the bites? But we human beings are so splendid and complex that we can imagine in a credible way, thanks to the heart, to empathy, to sensitivity, emotions that are foreign to us starting from those we know or have seen try to others.
Then study the emotions, observe them, dismantle them and put them back together. They will be another fundamental element for your stories and they will allow you to write a story that you will love even if you have never really tried them.