1. Dunwriting

    Dunwriting New Member

    May 12, 2011
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    Not writing for the market?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Dunwriting, May 12, 2011.

    Been reading quite a few books on 'How to Write'. All of these focus on writing for a market and encourage the writer to follow current trends and fit the work into an existing genre to be successful. I'd like to be a published author but cannot work up any enthusiasm for this writing by numbers approach. Are there still opportunities these days for publication outside the mainstream of popular fiction?
  2. Jonp

    Jonp Senior Member

    Apr 6, 2011
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    I'd imagine it's a lot harder to get published if your novel is not something that will sell, i.e. if it's not popular at the time. There may be some publishing houses which would give it a chance if it's something really special.
    Personally, I'm looking to self-publish, and if I ever need inspiration I just go back and read this article:

    Edit: Just remembered I don't think you're allowed to do links. Ill message it to you.
  3. popsicledeath

    popsicledeath Banned

    Nov 11, 2010
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    They're telling you what you need to hear to buy and keep buying 'how to write' books.

    Most professional writers FOUND a market, but aren't exactly even good enough to just write to whatever market they want. It's better to write what you want to write, what you can write, what you're passionate about writing, and then figuring out what market that fits into. From there, you have some leeway, if the ability, to tweak things from fantasy to magic realism, or whatever, but most successful writers don't write to a market. They just write and either fit into a market, or create their own.

    Likewise, most writers aren't writing to trends either, they're either getting lucky and catching a wave, or creating their own trends. More often, writers have a drawer full of drafts of things that weren't marketable at one time or another, that then become hot again. By the time a trend is a trend, it's usually too late for even many of the best writers to start something from scratch and get it into the marketplace in time to catch the trend. And these books are going to suggest amateur writers try to do this?

    These books are all about selling you books, not teaching you how to sell your own books. How? Because now you're probably wondering how you write to trends, how you write to a market, how you write to all their suggestions... ah, but guess what, there's a book you can buy from the same author or publisher that explains all that, too!

    A real 'how to write' book would contain a list of quality fiction and maybe some chapters teaching you how to analyze and deconstruct that fiction. Yeah, exactly, how unhappy would millions of aspiring writers be if they bought a 'how to write fiction' book and it was basically just instructing you to study great fiction.

    People want easy, hopeful answers. Nobody wants to be told it takes years, sometimes a lifetime, of reading and studying and revising before most writers even have a chance at catching a break. So, most of these how-to books simply provide easy answers that seem to make sense, that in the end just require more answers, to which they have more books to buy.

    I'm not saying there aren't things a writer can do to improve their craft, I'm just saying it's not very exciting or appealing and usually doesn't included easy answers, so wouldn't sell (just like how often great advice on these forums is ignore for easy advice, how great creative writing professors are ignored for easy instruction). People, especially writers, sadly, like to be told what they want to hear (I say sadly because so many writers want to hear 'hey, it's not so bad, you just need to do -this- and you'll make it!') and people want easy 3 step programs: buy how to write book, ????, then profit... not wanting to mention that ??? is all the hard stuff, the years of toil and study, the things not covered in the how to write book itself.

    So, I guess in an ironic way, these books are teaching aspiring writers about how you can write to a market of people desperate for answers and effectively take advantage of that market's needs to sell books. It's like a pyramid scheme, as long as they can convince you you're not the sucker, and can find others to be the suckers, they trick you into willing being the sucker!

    But, just because the authors of these books just make a boatload of money (probably far more form their how-to books than their fiction, in most cases) by taking advantage of a market need of aspiring writers being desperate for easy, quick answers, does that mean you're going to be able to do that yourself, and in fiction markets? These are professional writers, and writing nonfiction. It's just not the same.

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