Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Writers and Readers

A writer must be a voracious reader – is that agreed?

And they must read widely in the genre in which they write. Not gone wrong yet?

Well, I also know from the lists of ‘meme’ books (though being a bit stupid, I’m uncertain what meme means…) doing the blog-rounds that most of us novel racers reads (or has read) widely. Sometimes that’s been while studying and sometimes for pleasure (or book groups AND they really AREN’T always the same thing…)

(Oh dear, I‘m overindulging with parentheses somewhat today.)

What happens then if you are uncertain where your story fits in your pattern of reading? Does that matter? Do you not worry until well and truly established on your book? Wouldn’t you write differently for two different genres? Or do you attempt to write the way you write (find your voice – damn, there I go again) and it finds its way into the right genre?

Or am I just avoiding the writing again?


Jen said...

Hmmmmmm... I tend not to read the same sort of thing that I'm trying to write. But, now you've made me think about it, I do tend to read things that are at least written in a similar voice. Or a voice that I aspire to (ie clever/funny - oh, hark at me!!)

You WOULD write differently for two different genres... but if your story doesn't fit into your 'pattern' of reading, so what?

What if it doesn't fit anywhere?

'A fresh new voice' is what the reviews would say. And there's not much wrong with that!!!!! Why pigeon-hole yourself before you begin?

(PS - I don't know what 'meme' means either?)

Carol and Chris said...

Stop procrastinating and get writing (Your getting as bad as me and my drawing!!)


liz fenwick said...

JJ, I have been told by people who know - ie they have helped lots of people through the hops to publication- the best things you can do is write the best book you can that is in your heart then you can sort out where it belongs! Get writing as Caroline says!!!!

Helen said...

Parts of my book are quite deep and dark so I like to read 'lighter' books, but I also like to read other deep and dark books for 'research' and because I want to write like that. (Damn it why can't I?!)

I haven't written properly now for two weeks. I ought to do what Carol says and stop procrastinating too.

JJ said...

Oooh, Jen, I like that: 'a fresh new voice' - positive visualisation for that one.

I seem to have a problem, when I write emails to people back home they write back and tell me how funny they are. This is fine, but sometimes I write sad or frustrated ones (not very often, I hope)and the recipient still writes back to say how much it made them laugh...

PS Do you think it means 'Me me me' as in 'this is all about me.

JJ said...

But one can have so much fun procrastinating. And the delusions you think up about what you're doing are so creative.

Yes, C, (pot, kettle, black,) will you have done a pic by tomorrow?

Permission to write rubbish seems to have worked for me, Helen. That way, if my little demon gets out and shouts 'this is shit, give it up' I can say 'Yes, little demon, that's the point.'

You're right, as always Liz. I'm just inventing things to slow me down. I need some of your energy! Please...

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

I don't think it matters. Some books don't really fit into any genre but they still get published and read. Others are most definitely genre books that get published but not read much. Write the book you most want to write, to the best of your ability, and you'll be fine.

Meme: there are several definitions on (one of my favourite reference sites) and the one which seems to fit most closely is 'A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another.'

Kate.Kingsley said...

You may well just be avoiding the writing JJ, but its an interesting point and one I hadn't thought of till now.

In its current incarnation (and with the plans I have mapped for it) The DeadBeats novel doesn't really fit the type of thing I would generally read, and I'm sure which genre it fits into. Maybe this will all become clearer when I get to the redrafting and editing stage, but as it is currently I can't see which market it would be specifically aimed at. Now I just have to decide if that makes in an unsaleable anomaly, or a one-off gem!?

I am writing from the heart though....

Best wishes

Carol and Chris said...

Ha, I did actually finish a pic yesterday. (Ok....I admit wasn't the one I was supposed to be working on but hey :-))

Smug C x