Monday, November 09, 2009

Writing to Please Yourself

By Ali Cross

At the Book Academy conference in September, Brandon Sanderson told us, “You need to write what’s in your heart.”

But, how do you know what that is? Look to what you read, to what you think about, to the shows you watch and the conversations that engage you the most.

For me, this is a matter of integrity.

If every fiber of my being screams out against vampires dating human girls, but I think that this is the current trend and I want my story to be sell-able, what do I do? If I choose to write the vampire story, I’m not being honest with myself and I’m certainly not being honest to my readers.

And I believe that readers can tell when you’re not being honest with them. Treat your audience with respect by writing what you love and you’ll both be happy.

If you love to read historical fiction, then you’d probably enjoy writing historical fiction. If your favorite stories end happily with the boy getting the girl, chances are good you’d be able to write a great romance.

“Writing comes more easily if you have something to say” (Sholem Asch.) And true integrity in your writing starts with what’s in your heart.


Carolyn V. said...

I totally agree. I had to write a piece for my creative writing course in school. I had my critique group look it over and they said, "Why aren't you writing this?" So I changed what I thought I should be writing, into something I enjoyed writing. It has made a huge difference! =)

L.T. Elliot said...

I can't imagine writing with anything but my heart. How could you ever make yourself do it if you didn't love it? Writing is hard work. (It can be delightful fun too.) If I didn't love it, I'd never finish anything.

Bethany Wiggins said...

I love this post! I rings so true. If you write what is in your heart, others will feel that and will connect emotionally with your work.