Writing – literary or genre?

There is a question all writers should confront at some point during their writing life:

What sort of writer do I want to be?

Because, of course, there are a number of different types of writer. Perhaps the question should be: “What do I want from my writing life?”

Believe it or not, this is something nearly all writers fail to ask themselves. I know, we all start off writing as a bit of a hobby. Most of the population can physically write, putting letters together to form words, and words together to form sentences. That’s a basic function many can handle.

But writing seriously? Learning how to write productively, and with a purpose and with an intention to gain an audience?

THAT’S DIFFERENT

To align with this blog’s title, one of the choices fiction writers should make is: do we want to write genre or literary fiction?

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Location research

I’m not a researcher. I’m not big on spending hours talking to people, interviewing them even, learning about them, their jobs, their private lives, the places they live and work. I do know authors who are researchers, and they love spending time learning stuff.

Nope. Not me.

But this week, I travelled about an hour away from home to look at a small village that I might use for a new series of cosy mysteries.

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Creativity

I want to talk about creativity. It concerns one of the most asked questions of authors – where do you get your ideas from? I know it sounds like a cliché, but so many non-authors want to know how we can ‘come up with’ such devious, exciting and intricate plots for our novels.

And I think we all have a slightly different answer. “I get my best ideas when I’m in the shower / out walking / drunk on a Saturday night”; “some of my most well-received novels have been based on dreams / nightmares / the result of imbibing vast quantities of psychedelic drugs”; or the asinine “I don’t know, really – they just come to me when I’m sitting in my garden writing studio listening to the sounds of nature”.

Some of these may be true, but it’s not my version of truth.

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Newsletter

For those who don’t know, I produce a monthly newsletter.
Sign up here: http://gerald-hornsby.com/blog/about/
See previous issues here: http://gerald-hornsby.com/blog/previous-newsletters/

Every month, I try to entertain and inform. There will be some news about me, and my writing. Also there will be information for other writers, and information and commentary about the publishing industry.

I will never use your email address for anything other than sending this newsletter, and I will never sell or release your information to a third party.

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Is good enough good enough?

Do you know what that picture is, above this post? I know, it’s two lines – a straight red one, and a curvy blue one. Any mathematicians amongst you know what it’s called?

It’s an ASYMPTOTE

What the dickens is an asymptote? It’s defined as: a line that a curve approaches, as it heads towards infinity.

So in our image above, the red line is the asymptote.
All very well and good, but what’s this got to do with writing?

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2021 Non-resolution Resolutions

Long time readers will know that I don’t like RESOLUTIONS. There’s too much focus on one day in the year, and there’s too much looking back on a previous year with regret, with a false determination to DO BETTER next year.
And it’s all too easy for the resolutions to fall flat.
Like: “This year, I’m going to lose x weight”. It’s a focussed target, which might appear to be good, but it’s a digital target. You will either succeed, or you will do the ‘F’ word – FAIL. And failure is a destructive state of mind.
We don’t like destructive things – we only like constructive things. So my resolutions are NOT resolutions – they’re aims, or goals. If I don’t reach those goals, I’m not going to beat myself up about it, because as you will have seen if you’ve read my ‘looking back‘ post, there’s still a lot to celebrate.
So let’s get started.

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2020 ROUNDUP

Yes, I know this year has been … different. That ancient philosopher who said “may you live in interesting times” needs to just shut up now. The ‘featured image’ sums up what a lot of people think about the year just gone.

But that doesn’t stop me from doing my annual roundup – a look back to last New Year at what I said I was going to try and do during 2020, and what I actually have done.

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Publication Day!

One of the few problems with publishing a new book is the need to update websites.
Today sees the day when my updated NaNoWriMo advice book goes live on Amazon in ebook and paperback. It’s been reorganised, rewritten, with new content and a fresh new cover.

Like the two previous versions, I have taken the experiences of 16 previous attempts (succeeding 15 times) and working with and alongside other NaNoWriMo authors, and I’ve created some guidelines, a timeline, tips and advice, and not a little inspiration, too.

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Taboos

Do you have a writing taboo? Is there something you wouldn’t include in a piece of fiction? Do you have reading taboos? Is there something in a book you hate to read?

Firstly, a definition:

Taboo (noun)
a social or religious custom prohibiting or restricting a particular practice or forbidding association with a particular person, place, or thing.

Taboo (adjective)
prohibited or restricted by social custom.

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