Wednesday 3 August 2022

IWSG August 2022

Another month and time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Hosted as ever by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the aim of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share doubts and insecurities without fear of being judged. Today's co-hosts are Tara TylerLisa Buie CollardLoni Townsend and Lee Lowery.

This month's optional IWSG question is: When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?

This question is really interesting to me because it implies that readers do not want originality, or is that just my take on it? In any case, I don't think that's strictly true. I think many readers are tired of the same old tropes that come up in various genres and want to go on a journey of discovery with the reader. At the same time, I'm sure there are readers who return to the same authors time and time again because they know exactly what they're going to get. That might be true for a James Patterson or a Danielle Steel. These are author brands that are highly lucrative. While there's a lot to be said for having an author brand and image, and I'm not saying that's not important, I think the story has to come first before the author. It's why I don't want to have everything mapped out in advance and just follow where the story takes me. I truly believe that each story should be unique with its own demands and rules - its own personality in a way. I'm the type of writer who likes to start out with a concept, a "what if" - something that doesn't feel like it's been done before. The characters who will tell that story tend to come along later. That might be right or wrong, but the readers who buy into a formula and don't want to be surprised - well, maybe they're not my type of readers.

I'm intrigued to read other responses! You can find them here.

Before I go, I have a teeny favour to ask. I still have a few spots open on my Reckoning blog tour from 19th September to 1st October. If you're available for hosting on the 24th September, 28th-30th September, or 1st October, go here to sign up. Thanks hugely!