Author’s Advice (Part 1)

The best advice I can give to any new authors out there is probably going to surprise everyone:

Completely disregard what your potential audience may want.

Yup, you read that right. I’m giving you permission to be completely selfish with your writing, because it’s just that; YOUR WRITING! The characters you create are yours, the world you set them in are yours, you are God in that world and no one can tell you what to do with it… (Unless they bought the rights and are publishing it for you… then you may have to change a few things, but for the most part, it’s still yours.)

When you write, don’t write for what you think people would like or base what you do with a character on whether or not it’s PC or what is considered ‘right.’ There are no rights and wrongs in writing. You are free to do what you want. This advice came to me when I was watching some of the interviews and documentaries following Lord of the Rings. I don’t remember the man’s name, there was an interview with a man who worked with J.R.R. Tolkien on Lord of the Rings. He mentioned how Tolkien was often dismayed over not really being able to find any stories he liked reading. Finally he decided that if he wanted a good book out there to read, he’d have to write it himself.

I took that comment to heart when I set to write my very first full length novel. A lot of my short stories were well received, but too many of them fell flat. Upon looking back at them, I realized that I had spent too much time trying to anticipate what people would like. I was being a fool. So I turned around and started writing things that I like, things that I would want to see happen in a story and characters that I could attach myself to.

Before I knew it, I had my novel written. I gave it to my toughest critic (my wife) and she loved it. (My wife doesn’t sugar coat things, she tells you if she doesn’t like what you’ve done. I’ve had a few stories axed due to her review). Within a few months it was polished, I had a cover ready, and my work was being submitted… a few weeks later I scratched one of my life-long goals off of my list:

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9 thoughts on “Author’s Advice (Part 1)

  1. I always felt my character needs to fit into the shoes of other characters, which made me make somany mistakes when trying to express who my characters are….. I hope by now, i will be able to do better from my own WORLD!

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    • StCyril says:

      My post about Character complexes might help. Take a look if you get the chance. Good luck!

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      • Why not, i don’t want to get a booo, when i get published

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      • StCyril says:

        The best example I can give is a school teacher, think of the person who is just there for the paycheck, or is trying hard to teach the way he thinks students want to learn…
        The Paycheck – Class is usually boring and the teacher clearly doesn’t seem to care.
        Trying to interpret what the students want – You spend most of your time trying too hard, the students become disengaged, bored or confused.

        But then you’ve got a teacher who’s passionate about what they’re saying and doing. You’ve got someone who goes into great detail about the subject and clearly loves what he’s doing. The students will pick up on that, will pay attention because of the level of enthusiasm and the students will remain captivated because a passionate teacher will keep things interesting.
        You write that way, write about something you want to, something your passionate about rather than trying to keep up with fleeting whims, you’re more likely to attract and keep an audience.

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  2. That’s a great post 😀 when writing a story it should be the one that the author would like to read but can’t find anywhere.
    And thanks for following my blog 😀

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  3. shanechall says:

    I’ve had PC issues over my writing a couple of times. The one thing I definitely hate is that old moldy chestnut “write what you know”. This nonsense has been used to claim that I can’t write characters that are too different from my own life, because it’s not “in my blood”.
    This basically narrows down the possibilities of writing to nearly nothing, and removes the possibility of discovery and experimentation, all in the name of respecting other people’s experience. It claims you have to believe in ghosts to write a ghost story, or you have to be a certain race or religion to write a character with that background. It’s so incredibly wrong and insulting to the writer’s skill or dedication.
    If you want to write about something you know very little about, just do it. Writers should decide for themselves what their limits are. Anyway, nice post. I agree with it, as you can see.

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    • StCyril says:

      Thank you for the comment! Glad to see others have a strong opinion about it. To your point about not limiting yourself to write what you know, absolutely, just make sure you do a little research beforehand to avoid a foot in the mouth incident.
      Example: I included medical procedures at a Boston Hospital in Magnifica. I wanted to make sure that I got everything in terms of Ambulatory procedure right in terms of quarantining, otherwise I would have looked like a fool and probably gotten a few medical professionals mad.
      So yeah, writing what you don’t know a lot about can be a great excuse to gain a little more knowledge outside of your bubble. Great comment!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Mordschlag says:

    This was very inspirational and just what I needed to hear as a fledgeling author who is testing the waters. You’re absolutely right. I shouldn’t really need to be so worried about what the readers/audience may think of my creations and explore where my own creativity leads me. Thanks for the inspirational advice.

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