ON WRITING

Remember writing doesn't love you. It doesn't care. Nevertheless, it can behave with remarkable generosity. Speak well of it, encourage others, pass it on. A. L. Kennedy

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

#IWSG post - Why I write what I write.

Hi everyone!

It's our favorite time of the month again. Thanks to Alex J Cavanaugh, we have the IWSG, ably assisted by an awesome team of writers/bloggers and monthly helpers. This month, helping are Stephen Tremp, Pat Garcia, Angela Wooldridge, Victoria Marie Lees, and Madeline Mora-Summonte! Try to visit each if you can.

I'm so pleased you rushed over to read my post, but it'd be really lovely once you finish if you'd CLICK on the badge and read some more entries.

February 7 question - What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

I belong to several Facebook writers' groups, and a thread was begun on one recently around whether you should write what you like because you love it, or whether you should write what's hot, what sells, what the market wants.

Okay, we could get on our writer professional high horses and say, what??? Surely all writers write what they want, but, according to this group who like to make a ****load of money from the pen, they study the market, study their own books, to see what's selling and what isn't. There's all sorts of detailed ruminations about choices which made my eyes water and my brain shut down, but I see their point.

F Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote commercially to make enough money to keep he and his wife, the famous Zelda, living the high life, but always, whether in a villa in the South of France or an apartment in Paris, he was working on the novels he wanted to write. We remember him for The Great Gatsby and This Side of Paradise and other greats; we don't remember him for his commercial work for newspapers and magazines, but he totally had a right to make enough to eat and drink and party hard. How else could he have written The Great Gatsby where Jay Gatsby is supposedly him?

So, why do I, Denise Covey, write what I write?

Most people who know me know I love Paris but not so much that I love Italy, too.

I adore reading novels (and travel articles and non fiction books and coffee table books and old documents and old postcards and drink coasters and placemats) set in Paris, so as I'm such a fan, I've either written, or partially written, two novels set in that fair city along with a ton of short stories. It's a joy and gives me an excuse to go back often to check the details.

Hey, that's how I knew that the love locks that were removed from the Pont des Arts had

been moved to Pont Neuf, the next bridge. Paris without love locks? Pfft. Read my short story here which showcases the locks. That's great work if you can get it. And who knows, I might actually sell a book or two set in Paris one day.

So look out for An American in Paris (still with Avon) and Le Petite Paris Cookery School under construction. Both I adore.

And I also adore Italy, which always speaks to my dark side while Paris speaks more to my frivolous side, or something. I imagine all sorts of weird stuff happening in those dark Italian forests and mountains. Which is why I write Paranormal Romance. Starting with a short story I began in 2010!!! I actually self-published my first completed paranormal novella in, ahem, what was it? 2015 I think. I let it sink without trace, always planning to rewrite it to the MARKET. Which I'm now doing. It's now a 27,000 word novella under critique with my awesome 'critters' after having been edited by a pro.

The cover will have shades of this quick mock up...

With apologies to my cover artist who is reading this post. 

So look out for Vampire Obsession (which first appeared as Under the Tuscan Sun) coming to a kindle near you! I'm really going to finish it within the next 2 years, LOL. Actually, I've set myself an April deadline.

So, that is a little about why I write what I write. Then there's the travel articles and short stories that occasionally put some money into my bank account. That's commercial, right.

Look, I don't know if I got off topic, but we're all good at skim reading, so I hope you saw something in this post. It'd be pretty hard for a writer to write completely to the market. You've got to have something to feed the soul.

  • How about you? What do you think about writing commercially?
  • Why do you write what you write? Do tell....
Thanks for coming by. I do appreciate your time. I'll be over to say hello as soon as I can.


And you can't help noticing that WEP has their new challenge up. See the sign up in my sidebar? Please sign up and let us read your stories. If you go to the site, you'll see we have a new look for a new year!





61 comments:

  1. That's awesome that you write about places that you love. And so do so many other people. Congrats on your new novella and cover. Send me an e-mail with your info for followers news when it's published.

    And I am a contract writer. While I don't always like what I write, I love writing and supporting myself as a writer who works at home--even if I don't make much money. I am starting to enjoy my own YA fantasy writing more too but my primary focus has to be writing that pays every month.

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    1. I think it's cool that writers can write commercially for a living as well as write on the side. I wish you the best for your YA and look forward to reading it. Thank you for the offer to promote me on your blog. That's lovely.

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  2. We all do things to pay the bills while we're writing that next #1 Best Seller. I think you have to do both, what you like and what you can do to make the mulah, and hope that SOME form of writing keeps us in traveling money. Wishing you best of luck with your Novel publication.

    I've got my WEP mostly written, just needs tweaking. Like, a plot concept of some sort. Argh!!

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    1. Thanks Donna. I'm sure a concept has rained down from heaven for your WEP entry!

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  3. Writing what we love rarely pays for itself. At least, doing that ONLY. We do need to learn and understand the market. Best wishes for your hoped-for April release!
    BTW, Your cover artist cried a little on the inside ;)

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    1. Dang! Those cover artists are soooo sensitive.

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    2. They are allergic to bad spacing, lack of centering, and odd coloring :P
      (and also trusting you know they are only teasing)

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    3. I’m just going to blame reddit LOL! Couldn’t be me, right? Hey and notice Damyanti said she liked it.

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  4. I can't imagine writing only commercial things that will make me money. I need to write what I love, too. Maybe it's possible to strike a balance between the two. We do what we have to do so we can keep up with the things we love, after all.

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    1. I think we have to find a balance so we can eat, LOL, and travel and drink coffee every day...more? It's a blessed person who does exactly what makes them happy in life.

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  5. Writing to market... I'll have to look more into that ;-) Good luck with your upcoming release.

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  6. I love the fact that you are writing from the heart books placed in two countries that you love, France and Italy. But Italy is on my light side and France is my dark side.
    All the best with your manuscript at Avon. I can't wait until it comes out. It is on my list to buy.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. Ha ha, Pat, the difference in our views of two countries. I adore both and couldn't imaging writing anything other than women's fiction in Paris.
      You're very kind. I'll get in touch when I figure out my pen name.

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  7. If you love those cities, write about them. I could write stuff that was more commercially viable, but my heart wouldn't be in it.

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  8. It sounds like you have a tremendous balance between being able to write fiction and write to earn a living, except that your balance is nicely skewed to subject matter that you love - brilliant! Can I be you when I'm grown-up (as a writer that is)?

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    1. Debs, I love my life so I'm blessed. I'm sure you're your own unique self.

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  9. My best friend loves both countries (and can speak both languages) and I'm sure she'd write about those, too. When you have a passion for something, you have to follow that call.

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    1. I think passion for something shows in our writing.

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  10. I love it when older stories get a new lease of life! Good luck with the old-new novella.

    I must admit, re writing commercially, while I understand the need to make money etc, I'm saddened by new writers who ask questions such as:

    - do you prefer this genre over that genre?
    - should I turn my werewolf into a fairy, is that where the money is?
    - do you prefer your heroines to be 5' 6" with blonde hair, or 5' 8" and brunette?

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    1. Yep, I think those questions just show immaturity and insecurity in themselves as writers.

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  11. Writing to the market takes discipline and I don't have it. You also have to be quick since whatever is trendy now will be passe by the time I finish a manuscript. lol

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    1. I agree. By the time you write the next big thing, it's old hat. Not a good idea.

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  12. Tweaking our work is never done. I am sure many of the famous writers would like to go back and fix a verb or two of their published work. Learn more of what you love, do more of what you love, and teach others of what you love. You have done a good job in all three.

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    1. I'm enjoying myself but find it hard to leave my work alone. My rewrite of my paranormal is far more than tweaking; it's basically rewriting the whole story.

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  13. I think it's important to write what you love, otherwise I just don't think the story would have the same impact - it would be lacking passion.

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    1. Totally agree Laura. Readers know when you're lacking passion in your writing.

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  14. Why do I write what I write? I write mostly what I read. No doubt a lot of us do. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  15. If you enjoy a place, write about it indeed. Can't deny anyone making a living, but just writing commercially would be head meet wall many a time.

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    1. Thankfully Pat, my head hasn't hit the wall too many times, LOL.

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  16. Write what you love or write for the market? There's no right answer to that - every writer needs to decide for themselves what their answer is. Right now I'm definitely writing what I want, and hang the market :)

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  17. I write only what I want to write. I don’t pay attention to what’s popular because by the time I finish it, edit it, publish it (for me usually that’s traditionally), the trend will be over. Haha

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    1. Ha ha. Doubly true for me. I'm a slow writer who doesn't like to let go...

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  18. Hi Denise, we've had exchange students from France and Italy they have enriched our lives and our kids so much. We hope to send our kids there soon as exchange students.

    February 2018 IWSG Co-host
    www.stephentremp.com

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  19. I'm trying to write commercially, but it doesn't work too well. The best genre to write if you hope to sell is romance, many variations of it, and it is one genre that doesn't come easily to me. You're lucky, Denise. Romance seems one of your genres. Keep writing what you like. I'm sure the sales will come.

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    1. Yes a third or more of all books sold are romance. Luckily I write a version of it.

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  20. At this point, I write what I enjoy writing. Doesn't mean there won't come a day where I write to the market.

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    1. Writing what we enjoy is surely the most satisfying.

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  21. If I knew how to write to the market I surely would :D

    Waiting for all your books to be released!

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  22. I couldn't write to market if I tried, so I don't. I think most of our writing stems from our backgrounds and our interests.

    I love the mock-up of your book cover, Denise.

    Damyanti

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    1. I agree Damyanti. And thanks for the like on my mock up. Only the picture will remain the same.

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  23. I don't come up with ideas based on what's popular, but I am conscious of things that might connect my work with the market as I go along. But then again, the process is so slow, even that might not matter in the long run.

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    1. I don’t think it hurts to know the market.

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  24. Good luck with your many writing interests, Denise, and your book release.

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  25. Hi Denise - I know you bring memories of France, perhaps rather than gay Paris to me, and Italy to mind when you post - your passion for these parts of the world shine through. Glad you're giving your Under the Tuscan Sun a revampwrite with a vamp on the cover ... looks evocative ...

    Take care and good luck with the commercial aspects too - I shall depart before I get in too deep?! cheers Hilary

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    1. You’d hardly recognise the story Hilary. Hope you’re well!

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  26. I remember learning about the love locks from your story.
    I understand writing to the market, as long as our hearts in the story too.

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    1. Yes I think that’s important but not everyone agrees.

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  27. It's interesting how the two places bring out different sides of you. :) I write what I want but do think about the market during rewrites.

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    1. It doesn’t hurt. After all, we all hope to sell what we write.

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  28. Yahoo! You Always Have Other Options, but I see you already know that. I love anyplace I land...there might an exception, but I'll have to think about it a bit. You've chosen two that are among my favorites!

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    1. Like me, Lee, you love to travel, explore and fall in love with new places. We’re fortunate to do what we love. Writing about the places we love is a bonus.

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  29. Hi Denise!
    As you know, my stories always involve suspense and gravitate towards twists and turns. But I also have a love for literary-styled writing. So I'm still not too sure whether I write suspense with a touch of literary, or literary with a touch of suspense. Or maybe there's another name for it?
    From your post, I gather that Under The Tuscan Sun will be a whole different story? Good luck with the rewrites. I'm sure you have it all under control.

    I'm participating in a #100words100days challenge with my local online writing group. I pledged a minimum of 200 words per day, beginning January 01st, and today is day 45 of the challenge. So that means 45 days of unbroken writing! I seem to have found a comfortable rhythm and it seems like short bursts of about 200 words works well for my "flash-fiction-wired-brain". January I totalled 7310 words towards the draft of a new story.
    For Feb, I'm sitting on 2942 words of brand new words towards another story. I definitely want to complete the 100 days of non-stop writing. I'm not sure what I'll do thereafter... probably lock the drafts in a drawer for two or three months. Maybe return to some flash fiction.
    How's the Paris story? I can't wait to see what's become of it!

    Now I'm off to my writing balloon!
    Take care, Denise!
    Writer In Transit

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    1. Lovely to hear from you Michelle. I’m excited to see you’ve found a motivation to write more. Keep it up. I hope you do better than I do with NaNo. I have 5 unfinished novels from that. Now my critters are my motivators.

      I sent Under the Tuscan in its rewritten form to an editor. Got lots of suggestions for expansion. Which is what I’m doing now.

      And my Paris story awaits Avon. More on that later.

      Cheers
      Denise

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  30. I love all kid lit. I hadn't ever thought about doing travel writing, but I have four trips planned this year. I might try and write an article on at least one of the trips. :) Thanks for the idea...

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    1. Go ahead. There's plenty of travel markets...

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