Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Write for the Market? (or Right for the Market!)

Tip of the Day: Are you a kidlitter who will be in NYC this Friday? Come to Kidlit Drinks Night!

Many writers say: "Don't write for the market. Write what's in your heart. Write what you are called to write."

I agree with this on some level. If you write a book right now about zombies/vampires/fae[i]ries, a.k.a. hot creatures that are currently on the shelves, you could miss that paranormal creature boat due to the length of time it takes to revise, sell, edit, and publish your novel. In that case, writing for the current market isn't really a great idea.

I also agree on some level that if your heart is telling you to write the zombie/vampire/fae[i]ry novel, go for it.

BUT! But, but, but...

If you are writing with the goal of PUBLICATION, then you need to combine a little bit of WRITING FOR THE MARKET with WRITING WHAT'S IN YOUR HEART.

Check out this post by agent Jenny Bent
on how to make your own luck by paying attention TO the market without writing FOR it. Don't duplicate what's currently on shelves; do read what's currently on the shelves so you know what twist to put in your work so it will stand out.

What bothers me are those who adamently insist that any writing pro (writer, editor, agent) who advises you on what to write is wrong bc you should "write from your heart."

Look, the pros are "pros" bc they closely work closely in the publishing industry and have info that us unpubbed writers do not always have. The very peeps who have the decision on whether or not to purchase your work.

If an editor or agent, for example, doesn't "fall in love" with your novel but asks to see something else bc you have strong writing, it's basically an invitation to find something else that will appeal to that editor or agent. No, that person is not telling you to write about a specific topic/plot/character, but may suggest other things they are interested in. If that new suggested idea (more "high concept"; less "angsty"; "make it darker") rings true to you, the writer, than there's no reason not to try the suggestion. If you want to be published.

Additional thoughts?

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing


Kristina Springer said...

Love your title on today's post! :-)

Lisa Schroeder said...

I totally agree, Deena.

I think with how competitive it is in today's market, we HAVE to pay attention to what's selling, what editors want, and then do our best to find something we can be excited about that will make others excited too.

Christina Farley said...

Great post. I checked out Jenny's link, too.