Creativity vs. Profitability in Writing

If you’re about to self-publish your first book or have already done so and found out that you can make good money with the right stuff,  you may wonder exactly what you have to write in order to optimize sales. Earning money for your blood, sweat, and tears is a wonderful benefit, but it shouldn’t be your primary motivation.

When you write with money as your goal, your work inevitably becomes more commercialized. Creativity’s shoved into the passenger’s seat while greed takes the wheel. Eventually, your books lose the distinct flavor that ties to you and become nothing more than manufactured products that are as easy to replace as if they were made on an assembly line.

This sounds harsh, I know, and it definitely doesn’t apply to all authors. Out of all the self-published writers I’ve seen and spoken to on Twitter over the past year and a half, I’ve only met one or two who were admittedly in it only for the attention and money it would garner them.  As I embark in a new direction with my own work, and see others on the fence and struggling on the road to publication, I wanted to write a post that would help put things into perspective. Continue reading “Creativity vs. Profitability in Writing”

5 Best Video Game Storylines Writers Can Learn From

Writing spans far beyond books, though many budding novelists don’t tend to look outside the printed fiction box when it comes to finding inspiration. While it’s obviously great to find books that make you want to write your own, there are so many other wonderful mediums for writing that can be doubly inspirational. One of my favorites is video games.

We’re long past the days of mindlessly gobbling ghosts in Pac-man and racing our way to the top in Mario Kart. While entertaining, those games lacked the intricate and powerful storylines that define many of today’s most popular titles.

If you’re already a gamer and familiar with these games, read this article, then go back, replay, and reevaluate from a writer’s perspective.

If you’ve never heard of any of these but are curious about what I’m even talking about, read on and discover some of the best storylines in video games to date.  Continue reading “5 Best Video Game Storylines Writers Can Learn From”

What’s a subplot in literature and how do I write one?

A novel is never really just one story. It’s a combination of characters, souls, wants, desires all rolled into one. A subplot is a story within your story — it’s what your characters are doing when they aren’t focused on the big picture.

Today we’ll define exactly what makes up a good subplot and how you can write one yourself.

Continue reading “What’s a subplot in literature and how do I write one?”

Your Book’s Not Flawed, You Are

There are a lot of things that we as writers could do differently. I think, deep down, we don’t need any editor or beta reader or critique partner to tell us that. We’re lazy. We’re overinvested. We’re defensive. We’re insecure.

All of us are struggling to make the ideas in our minds sound as good on paper as they feel in our hearts.

But in order to truly become a better writer, we have to accept the fact that we’re not perfect and this image of success we hold in our heads — some undefined end point where we suddenly evolve like Pokemon from an aspiring writer to a full-fledged, real deal author — isn’t going to happen.

Continue reading “Your Book’s Not Flawed, You Are”

5 Things Real Writers Do

So ya wanna write, do ya? Well, join the club!

I imagined that in a nasally 1950s voice, spoken by a man in a gray three-piece suit seated in a smoke-filled den, dimly lit with a tumbler of whiskey in front of him. Sorry. I don’t know where that came from.

But seriously. You want to be a writer. You already are a writer, but you constantly feel like you’re not really a writer, not like the people who have published a book or built up an audience or even finished a manuscript (this last one is way harder than any of us ever imagine it will be, so don’t beat yourself up.)

Well, I’m here to help. I’m not a published author yet and I’ve been working on the same book for the past 2 years, along with several others, but I have been involved in writing communities since I was 16 (7 years now. God, I’m really getting old) and been an avid reader ever since I got my own copy of Because of Winn-Dixie from Target in the fifth grade.

So I’ve put together a list of 5 things real writers do. These are habits and traits that we, as cultivators and practitioners of creativity, should always strive to exhibit. Feel free to add your own words of wisdom in the comments below! Continue reading “5 Things Real Writers Do”