Okay, I know I started the new year with my first resolution being “Be more optimistic” but the second resolution was “Be realistic”, so this is what I'm doing right now. I'm being realistic.
Well, as my friends list on Goodreads started to grow and I started checking out reviews and to-read books of my online friends, I quickly realized that the most rated/best reviewed books were totally different from mine.
This is why I have come up with the idea of this post: because I’ve realized that either I change my writing style to sell more books, or I stay true to myself (more likely) and accept that I’ll never be a best-selling author.
The truth is: I love writing. I need to write. I have to get down on paper – or in a Word file - all the stories of the characters that live in my mind, before it gets too crowded and explodes like an atom bomb. :-) And I’ve always found in writing my feel-good therapy, a way of relaxing, of forgetting a long, awful day at work, of escaping tough reality, of creating a world I could control when I couldn't control things in real life, and a way of being myself.
Yes, when I write I am totally, truly myself – I am the person I want to be, the person I can’t be at work or with anyone else, with people who don't understand my passion.
So, even if only one person in a million readers will like my book, if I can make even just one person happy, emotional or somehow touched by my stories, well, I’ll be more than satisfied, because this is what I want: for other people to enjoy my stories half as much as I enjoyed writing them.
All that stated, here is the list I’ve created of the 5 reasons why I’ll never be a best-selling author, in order of importance - at least from what I’ve discovered after checking out Goodreads:
1. I don’t write about sex, nasty sex, hot sex, and all that. You won’t find any of that in my novels.
2. I don’t write about vampires.
3. I don’t write YA.
4. I don’t write paranormal/fantasy.
5. I don’t write about murders, crimes, violence, etc.
And here are the explanations to the above points.
1. I’m a Catholic. Okay, this being stated, I’m not a prude or anything. I read romance and I love romantic movies, and I don’t hide my face behind a cushion during sex scenes, nor I close the book if the author’s describing a sex scene, but there are ways of telling and showing this concept without necessarily stepping into vulgarity.
For example: I’ve recently come across a book with 5 and 4 star reviews (and I’m glad I downloaded it when it was free on Amazon – I would’ve been quite disappointed to waste money on it) and I was so shocked at the amount of vulgarity and dirty sex scenes, that I had to stop at chapter 4, because I almost felt sick at times. Apparently, though, every one else loved it: they wrote wonderful reviews on Amazon and Goodreads and I felt such a weirdo for not liking it, it really made me feel bad. And no, before you wonder, I haven’t read (and am not going to read) Fifty Shades, thank you very much.
Anyway, my point is: I just don’t see why I should write something so “graphic” to attract readers, when I am more for the romantic side of it all. I mean: take Nicholas Sparks, for example. He can write amazing love stories, include sex, and never ever sound vulgar or crude. So why should I put sex before feelings? My stories are all about feelings, all about love and its real meaning. No, I don’t want to overstep the border and change my writing style just to sell more books. Thank you, but I’ll decline the offer.
2. Vampires. Wow, what an amazing world. I’ve always been scared of vampire movies – have never watched “Dracula” and I probably never will – and I’ve never liked the sight of blood either. When “Twilight” hit the theaters and I was asked to go watch it, I said “No, thank you.” Okay, I hadn’t read the book so I didn’t really know what it was about – all I knew what that there were vampires and that was enough for me. I was wrong, okay, I admit it. Needless to say, when a colleague of mine lent me the DVD I simply LOVED it. Why? Because of the love story, obviously! And I loved the books even more. Even so, I would never be able to write about vampires, although this seems to be one of the best-selling topics – it would just sound fake, forced, it’s simply not me, not my style. So, sorry but I’ll pass.
3. I don’t think I’d be able to write YA novels either. Well, that’s not entirely true; I have a story going on in my mind about a teenager and I jotted down some ideas, so I might end up writing it eventually. I used to write YA novellas when I was a teenager (although, at the time, I didn’t know I was writing YA!) and it made perfect sense, because I was a teenager and I wrote down the way I felt, the dreams I had and all that. I guess I’m just too old now to write about teenagers. Although I’ve been there, like we all have, I think it’s too late now, so I’d rather stick to the new adult or adult romance fiction.
4. Paranormal/Fantasy. I’m a dreamer and I have an awful lot of imagination, but not enough to write paranormal or fantasy. I honestly wouldn’t know where to start, so I’ll pass this one too.
5. I love watching “Murder, she wrote”, I’m a big fan and I think Jessica Fletcher is the best. I also love American crime shows (FBI, NCIS, NYPD related – big fan of those too), but murders and violence are just not my cup of tea. And I don’t think I’d be able to plan a murder (in a novel, of course!), find clues, build tension, and all that – it just would be too complicated a task, and at the end of the day, I write because I enjoy it; if it felt like homework, I’m afraid it wouldn’t be half as pleasant. So, no murders in my novels.
Well, sorry for the long post – I just thought I’d share my thoughts with you. I hope you’d like to share yours with me, too. Please leave a comment, let me know what your favourite genre is and what you think about the above topics.