Friday, August 25, 2006

Finding your niche

Skimming around the blogasphere, (yes Virginia I know I have a problem) I ran across multiple discussions about what drives the market and the surprising tidbit that continuities are popular with readers. (To read for yourself start at Alison Kent's Blog and follow the links.)

Not surprising? It was news to me. Though it shouldn't have been. I considered the first three authors on my autobuy list - all three are writing series. What makes these so appealing? Good writing is number one, still and always. Characters I (and lots of other readers) fall in love with, a special world that feels real (more of that good writing thing), stories that have unresolved questions.

I read lots and widely, but even the omnivorous reader had favorites. Here are mine:

  • To be swept away - Regency set romance with a suspense element
  • To be thrilled - Romantic suspense, straight suspense
  • To be entertained - Southern comfort
  • To be cheered - Romantic comedy
  • To be comforted - Something from the keeper shelf

There's a class of reading that doesn't have to be entertaining at all - non-fiction. If it's well written, it's a huge plus and much appreciated, but I'll read dry as kindling books if I'm mining for information.

All of this relates to writing how? I only write in one of the genres I love to read. When I'm writing I try to not read that genre (romantic suspense for all those just stopping by). I don't want to imitate even my most esteemed authors. I don't want my story choices influenced by the current read, no matter how brilliant. The only product I have to sell are original stories.

Now if it turns out I should be writing dog detective mysteries - have I got some fun reading to look forward to . . .


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