Wednesday, August 3, 2022

August is here! Gasp!

 It is another meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group - sign up here!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

The awesome co-hosts for the August 3 posting of the IWSG are Tara Tyler, Lisa Buie Collard, Loni Townsend, and Lee Lowery!

This month's question (completely optional): 

August 3 question - When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want? 

hmm...trick question I believe! I do not try to do either. I think it is a fool's errand to try and be original. Know if you are putting your authentic self into your work that there is no trying needed. We are all authentically original no? Maybe what it means that sometimes writers try to be shockingly new or come up with something so outstandingly different that folks will gasp with astonishment. When I feel myself heading in that direction as in I think I'll write a novel from the point of view of an armchair or I'm going to set my newest mystery inside of a whale then I've lost my reason for writing. I write because I'm both trying to wake myself up to existential truths or (and more likely) I'm trying to wake others up. I'm trying to make sense of this crazy-ass world. If I'm struggling to shock folks then I'm doing the second thing - second-guessing the desires of readers. The readers don't come into it as far as I'm concerned. That sounds kind of cold but bear with me. I am burning to tell some story. I don't know who is interested, I just know that I would be. I write it as clearly as I can but I don't pander to the reader. I don't want to read folks that do that either. It is pretty easy to figure out I think. I'll read a long and go oh the writer plunked in a bit here on a hot topic even though it has nothing or little to do with the plot. Why? I don't like it my friend. I do not like it. I hope and make an effort not to do the same thing. 

I know that sounds high-falutin and smug. Believe me I struggle with this. Recently I spent quite a bit of time writing the first part of a novel based on my desire to have a second Nell Munro mystery. Because I hadn't found the story burning away in my heart, but simply wanted to get book number two under way I spent a lot of time on stuff that I am now abandoning. About forty thousand words worth. Now I'm back to a new start and I will find the heart of the story like I usually do, wandering very slowly down a dark trail!

Hope your summer is great! This coming Saturday I'm signing copies of The Crooked Knife in the two local Chapter stores. I'm quite excited to be at a Meet the Author. Woo hoo!

How is your summer working out? Do you write much in the summer or does your discipline go all kablooey in the heat?


Liza said...

Love "find the heart of the story like I usually do..." That describes my writing, too. It can take me a long time to get there. Enjoy the book signing. How fun! Hope you are enjoying a glorious summer, Jan.

Natalie Aguirre said...

It's great that you focus on the heart of your story. A lot of people have given this answer. I hope your book signing goes well.

Margot Kinberg said...

You really lay out the challenge so well, Jan! I think the main thing as a writer is to be authentic - who one really is. That's going to make each person's writing unique, even if that person is trying to emulate an icon's style. That's also why I think writers don't need to worry about exploring topics that other writers have explored. Each writer explores things differently.

Ornery Owl of Naughty Netherworld Press and Readers Roost (Not Charlotte) said...

The thoughts expressed here are similar to mine. I don't think it's cold to say the reader doesn't enter into the creation of the story. I think of Dr. Frank N Furter in the Rocky Horror Picture Show while showing off his creation. When Janet says she doesn't like men with too many muscles, Frank responds "I didn't make him for you."
I need to channel my inner Dr. Frank N Furter. In just seven days I will either make you a story or make you a man.