This post is actually my last response to my original thread. I wrote so much I thought maybe it would be best to just make a new thread geared in a slightly different direction with some fresh faces and perspectives. (Hopefully the moderators won’t mind me double posting ) The other thread can be seen here. http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=25721 This thread was titled “Writing my first book, what are the odds of it being successful.” Wow. I did not expect this thread to get so much attention. This is my only post and it is the most replied topic in this section (neat), I think there has been some solid advice here and I hope others have benefited from this thread as I have. People on opposite ends of the spectrum (and everywhere inbetween) have chimed in with some valid points. Some who have just decided to become writers and others who have been in the business for years. Some who live to write and others who write to live. What I have drawn from the discussion is this: First you need to determine why you're writing. Is it Passion? Money? Recognition (Fame)? Career perks (potential freedom of hours and location)? Women (the bras practically take themselves off)? I'm sorry, inappropriate ☺ This is important because this will impact what you write and how you write it. Of these there are two that I feel are the heavyweights (besides women ) Passion. Do you have it? Although it is not vital to success, if you lack it, you have a long and bumpy road ahead of you. Money. Do you have it? How much do you want? Do you have the financial security to write what you want? Money and passion are often tied together. Are you willing to sacrifice your passionate writing and adjust your style and/or topic for financial gain? Someone earlier refereed to the author of Twilight as lucky. Although I agree with this statement, it is for a different reason. I disagree the fact that her success can be attributed to luck. She wrote a book that has not only sold millions, but was also enjoyed by millions. I think that if your book is enjoyed by the majority that read it (even if they are all teenage girls), then there is no way that can be attributed to luck. I do however think she is lucky there happened to be a huge market that matched her passion, and that her targeted market (teenage girls) happen to be the type of people that will spread the popularity of the book via word of mouth or online social sites (facebook, myspace, twitter). What I wanna know from you is what types of thoughts go into your head when you begin the writing process? How concerned are you about the story being marketable/sellable? Secondly: Story, Style, and Quality. These words got thrown around a lot in this thread. I think this was best summed up by Phantasmal Reality. I agree with Phantasmal Reality, I think the level of quality corresponds with whether or not you have come up with a good story. Also, in addition, but (in my opinion) to a lesser extent, your style of writing is important. Which is more important to you? The story itself? or how it's told? With that said, the next logical question is how do you know if your story/style is good? I think one unique way of judging a books quality would be to look at the law of large numbers. An example of the law of large numbers would be, lets say you flip a coin four times, three times it comes up tails and one time heads. This wouldn't be an accurate portrayal of your chances of getting heads or tails. The law of large numbers states the more times you flip the coin, the closer your results are to the actual chance of the coin landing on either side. I think this can also be applied to deciding whether or not you have written a good story. Lets say you handed out your book to five people and asked each person to rate it between 1-10 based on story and style, and lets say your average was 8 and 6 respectively. The larger the sample the more accurate the representation is. I feel your cumulative scores, in comparison to other novels, would be the best way to tell whether or not you have written a quality book. Is this fair? How would you judge a books quality? I do think there are some factors that would be up for debate. First is weight. Since most of us don’t consider Story and Style equal, when adding your two scores together how much weight would you give story in comparison to style? To me the ratio seems close to 1 to 0.6, or somewhere around there, others would disagree. Secondly, should anything else be added to the equation other than story and style? Another factor might be creativity, or maybe uniqueness. Although I haven’t read Harry Potter or Twilight, I am under the impression they would score highly in this category. Lastly, how important is the sample of readers that score your book? Which sample would be the best gauge of your book’s quality? A sample of accomplished authors? Overall Population? Your target audience? Or maybe even a combination of these, accomplished authors that have written similar books to yours. Although it would be almost nearly impossible to come up with a sample size large enough to be an accurate representation. It just something to think about when deciding how many people you let read your works. I think the more the merrier in this instance, with as much honest feedback as possible. I thought the first thread was a very valuable source of insight, so after reading the first thread I decided to write some of my thoughts down here, in a new thread. Hopefully we can make this thread also very insightful and helpful to myself and other aspiring writers.