Saturday April 7, 2018 ~ The Letter G
This month, I write about being a writer, alphabetically.
I’ve written nonfiction, short stories, and poetry. My media has included everything from keyboard to fountain pen to crayon. And yes, I’m working on a novel.
Please join me each day as I explore this craft and career of playing with words as I participate in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2018.
The Letter G
I know, we’ve all heard it before – grammar matters. Even if we’re intentionally breaking a few syntax rules, we’re supposed to know which ones we’re ignoring and why we’re doing it. That’s what they say.
Except for the fact that real people, and therefore our characters, don’t speak perfect English. Have you ever read a book and every conversation sounded stilted? No contractions, and perfect linguistics but not an ounce of actual believable conversation? Sometimes grammar checking apps or sites will do that to you. Occasionally, you may find that an editor’s red pen improves the language, but ruins the intended voice.
Which is why it’s important to know your grammar, and why you broke the rules. Because then you can clarify with whoever “fixed” that critical paragraph and get them to put it back. Only when it’s truly crucial, please.
Genre matters, too, if you’re writing commercial fiction. The publisher needs to know how to sell you book and what format will sell the best. The bookseller must recognize where to shelve your book. And the marketer (you!) want to market your novel most effectively. So, genre matters.
Just now, the top selling Genres on Amazon are Science Fiction, Romance, and Fantasy. Please please don’t change what your’e writing to match what you think is going to move. Write what you’re passionate about! Those with experience tell us not to follow the trends, because, well, they change. And they change faster than it takes the average author to finish a novel.
So, if you’re writing commercial fiction, know your genres. Use that knowledge in your elevator pitch. If they ask what you’re writing, you can mention the genres you like to write. And, yes, ever writer should have a 30 second description of what they’re writing and why it is great. Don’t worry, the more you do it, the easier it gets. After all, you’re creating something incredible enough that you hope other people will pay money for it. Be confident! And know your Genre.
I mentioned the other day that I have a tricked out desk with nice music and a beverage of my choice and a laptop with a fruit on the cover. How lucky I am to be able to close the door to my space and write when I must. How fortunate I can jump in my car and head for a different environment to encourage my muse. How charmed is my life that I can think about traveling to retreats or conferences, that I can sign up for seminars and classes, that I can purchase helpful apps and chocolate. How very cool that I have time (never enough, but more than so many other people) to follow my passion and string together words for others to read.
I begin and end each day reflecting on my good fortune. I get to pursue something I love. I have the resources to do so comfortably. Sometimes people read the words I throw out there. I am grateful.
Monday, the letter H …