What Do Readers Wantlost

If I had the answer to that, and the answer to the right place to drill for oil or the right stock to buy, it would be too easy wouldn’t it? Writing is a game like any other game–it has an anatomy: The parts of any game are to have a goal, freedoms and barriers within the game. No goal, it is a poor game. Too many freedoms, no game, too many barriers, no game. So the elements are balanced, and we have to have a game for life itself is a game and all of the things within it are games within games. Writing is a game and one must play to win or he is just a dilettante, fiddling around with it going nowhere.

The author must have a purpose in creating the work. Is it to inform, entertain, enlighten, inspire, make money, position oneself? The list can go on, but one should analyse one’s motive and go from there. I am simply driven to convert when I know about so many things into words that communicate to do any of these things listed. Like throwing something against a wall and hoping it sticks, and getting enough sticks I know I am on the right track for I have reached my target and the target responds favorably by accolades and preferably by sending money or clients.

An author must write about something he or she knows about and loves for it to flow to another’s mind and be duplicated–be precisely what was sent and intended. I say red apple, and I hope you get a red apple. A reader sees a book on the bookstore shelf–if the cover and title resonates, it is looked at, turned over, the back is read, and maybe a paragraph or a page is read, if the customer gets that far. If he or she gets that far you have done a fair job of marketing. The proof is if he or she buys and then tells a friend, and it proliferates from there.

What sells? Non fiction leads, fiction follows, I guess because they get enough fiction in the movies and on TV. But the answer is to write something you know about, something you love and crave to wrap your perfect words around your love and get it between the covers on the shelf. Caress your words like you would your lover, tighten and tighten them until they ring like a bell. When you are happy, that is what counts. You have a product. If it happens to resonate with enough readers, you have a winner. You cannot predict what they will like and write accordingly, you will whore yourself out and it shows. Like Louis L’Amour says, just start, the faucet will flow.

I write short stories and poems. Yesterday I felt it was time to write a poem. I just opened up and I wrote the first words that came. Didn’t make sense, but I didn’t care, I just wrote it down. Then somehow connected, another phrase showed up, and I wrote it down, then the train of thought started about that, and soon there was a poem that actually made sense. I don’t evaluate and reject, that stops the flow. Get it down and then find the just right words, but I find the just right words are mostly all there already, saying what I wanted to say. I may direct the thought flow just a little, but it isno more than gently touching the bridle to the horse’s neck to turn the flow. That is when I get my best stuff. Otherwise, my Muse stops dead. Works for me.

Here are some comments by famous writers. They all speak sooth.

“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” E. L. Doctorow

“Writing at its best must come from deep within … it is when one reaches down into the dark realms of the past that great ideas surge forth.” Sigurd F. Olson

“Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once.” Stephen King

“It is impossible to discourage the real writers–they don’t give a damn what you say.” Sinclair Lewis

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” William Feather

“Start writing, no matter about what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” Louis L’Amour

“The only stories worth a writer’s blood and sweat and tears are stories of the human heart in conflict with itself.” William Faulkner

“I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.” Ernest Hemingway.