Vision: A Resource for Writers

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From the Editor:

Writing for Yourself

By Lazette Gifford
Copyright 2008 by Lazette Gifford, All Rights Reserved

So, what is it about writing that you love?  For some people it is the pure love of creating stories.  For others, it's the lure of publication.  In my opinion, though, it's the first group that are going to have a better chance at publication, because the second group is apt to try and write something they think will appeal to the people running the book publishing world.

However, it's very hard to write for the book publishing market. In some ways, it's impossible. You can't know what a publisher is going to want next week, let alone what they'll want in a year or so when you are done with your current book. If you look on the shelves today, note what is the current 'big new thing' and start writing a book in that style and genre, by the time you are done the shelves will be filled with those kinds of books. By then, the publishers may well be looking in some other direction. It's the way the entire entertainment industry works: If one is good, then three dozen are even better. But the public gets overfed on the tasty morsels, and they start looking for something new to devour.

How do all those books turn up on the same basic premise? Some of it is chance -- a certain movie or television show inspires a number of people to write something similar, and the books make it to the shelves at about the same time. The public, having seen the same shows and movies, are as eager for something similar, as well. For awhile, at least, it works.

Another part of the shelf is filled by specific work requested by the publishers. They see one book is making an unusual splash and they ask agents if they have someone who might write something similar. By the time you start seeing a dozen books with the same sort of premise, it's likely that the market is already saturated and editors are looking for the next 'big new thing' to take its place.

So, unless you are truly inspired to write such a book -- or a publisher asks you for one -- you are far better off going your own way. Write what you love and what you want to read. Your love and enthusiasm of the work will show.  It's no more a guarantee of a contract, of course, but at least you'll enjoy

And the really good, fun part?  You might just be the one to start that new trend.