All writers, whether you write novels, short stories, Korean haiku, or ransom notes, have an understanding regarding method and message. We know what we are going to write and how we are going to write it. We cannot omit the most important question, which is why.
Why gets into purpose and intention, which has everything to do with accomplishment and end results. Your own motivation for writing will affect the form of your writing. Not only must you understand your why, but it must be clear to your readers.
For example, I blog because I want to help Creative Writers in ways that are informational and motivational. My novels deal with the internal struggle between doing what you want and what you ought. But I shouldn’t have to come out and say that for you to know that. If you follow this blog, you know it’s not going to have recipes and box scores. My why for this blog should be clear to each and every reader.
Why You Read
Visit any bookstore and ask yourself why you would want to read any one of these thousands of books. And then ask yourself why anyone would want to come in here and buy your book. People have why questions for why they read, and when their why aligns with your why as a writer, you have the potential for more than a book sale, but possibly a repeat reader, or even a fan.
We cannot accomplish this by trying to be like everybody else. Now the market is flooded with vampire, zombie, and even zompire stories. People think a genre is hot, so that’s what they must write. But whatever got hot first that started the craze touched enough readers to stand out.
Readers are not a mass of homogenous participants in a market. They are all individuals, just as you and I are distinct from each other. If I tried to blog like you, or you tried to blog like me, the mimicker would fail. Same with novel writing. We need to be as individualistic as the readers out there.
We have unique thumbprints and retinal patterns, and we also have unique personalities, educations, backgrounds, vocabularies, world views, and preferences. This all means we have our own writing style more individual than our thumbs or eyes.
This gets into the author’s Voice, but so much more than that. Whatever I write, I need to make it the most Neal Abbottiest I can, which may include such things as contracting my surname into an adjective.
When you are the most you that you can be in your writing, you give the shopper in the bookstore every reason to pick your book and not someone elses. This is a wonderful thing, unless that other book they didn’t get is mine.
But maybe it is okay, because by each of us as writers being as true to our snowflakiness as possible, one writer may dig your book but may not necessarily go for mine. But that’s fine because eventually someone will come along and pass over your book and pick up mine. Remember that readers are just as individualistic as authors.
I wrote this because I needed a reminder to define myself as a writer, and stick to it. I hope this benefits you, too. You probably have a friend who is a writer who could use this. Share this article with them, and maybe it’ll help them as much as I hope it helped you.