Monday, April 20, 2015

Write What you Love to Read

One of the reason why I signed on to write an Outcast Ops novel is because it is the type of novel I love to read. Action thrillers are a large part of my personal library. Which leads me to the point of this blog post: Write the type of book you want to read.

Too many authors want to write the Great American Novel. Which is fine, but most people don't read great American novels. Instead, they read Tom Clancy because they love techno-thrillers, Clive Cussler because they love his roller-coaster rides of adventure, Jim Butcher for his urban paranormal and fantasy stories, and David Weber for his Space Opera. None of these successful authors are writing Great American Novels; instead, they write novels that are great.

I started writing via fanfiction. Fanfiction, done right, is a great proving ground for aspiring writers, because these authors write stories about series they love. It doesn't matter what sort of series --- I've written anime, Doctor Who, and Battletech fanfiction, and cut my teeth on writing Star Wars fanfiction (Never completed any of the early stories). Most writers are readers who read fanfiction and decided to see if they could either write something as good or better than the story they read.

Some fanfiction writers stick close to the canon style and aura, while others strip away most of the show's aura, change most of the details and take the characters off in a completely different direction. Personally, I always tried to wrote as close to the series as possible and always in series I like and knew well enough to write in. Authors learn and sharpen their skills as they write about characters they know and love (Yes love -- I don't know of anyone who writes fanfiction seriously who writes in series they hate.)

When a person takes the step beyond fanfiction, when they create their own 100%-theirs universe, it isn't hard for them to continue writing in a genre they love to read. I took the step from fanfiction to writing for Catalyst Games Labs through my Battlecorps stories. And from there, I decided to answer Rick Chesler's FB post when he was looking for co-authors for a new series he was developing, and that is where Outcast Ops: African Firestorm came from. I loved action thrillers, so the chance to co-write one was something I couldn't resist.

So, if you don't like the type of story you are writing, stop writing it and start writing the type of stories you want to read. It'll be easier on you in the long run.


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