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I came across this blog earlier. By the looks of things, the main purpose of the blog is to encourage people to write a book. A noteworthy sentiment I’m sure, but that didn’t stop me from being slightly taken aback by her/his thoughts on writing genre fiction:

Easier to write than what? Non-fiction books? The bible? Political journals? What?

As for the bit about having a mystery to solve in a mystery novel, well knock me down with a fucking feather, ya don’t say? *g*

19 Comments »


  • Gail
    October 15
    9:53 am

    So that’s why I am up at four in the morning writing, coz it’s easy. pfft!

    Writing a good story that comes with such a “label” is very difficult. Making it more than the label, more than those expectations is where the magic in a book lives.

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  • Heather
    October 15
    12:04 pm

    I agree, writing isn’t easy, but for me it’s a great deal of fun. Personally, I think the whole blog is a riot. Did you see the “five reasons to write a book?” The first reason alone was laughable. “Write to boost your career (regardless what the career is).” Um, nope, sorry that doesn’t work. This is called the real world and in the real world there are MANY authors who write behind a penname because they will be persecuted at work for writing what they love.

    And the first steps to writing a book sounded more to me like an instruction manual on how to copy a book and add your own bits into it (write down your favorite scene, be specific? Read it again and take notes?). There is just so much more to writing than copying something you read and liked or than filling in the blanks in the non-existent formula.

    If you decide to write, do it because you love the art, not because you think it’s the road to fame and fortune.

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  • Ann Bruce
    October 15
    1:52 pm

    It’s nice to have someone clarify what needs to be in a mystery novel and what needs to be in a romance novel. ‘Cause, you know, I was confused for a long, long time. I thought I needed to put little green men and wizards with wands in romance.

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  • Anonymous
    October 15
    1:56 pm

    Count the words in a novel? As a first step to getting published? Words fail me, which is why I don’t write!

    –Jackie L.

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  • heather (errantdreams)
    October 15
    2:33 pm

    Umm, wow. That’s some of the most inane advice I’ve ever seen. I mean, yeah, sometimes you need to start with obvious basics when you’re addressing beginners, but this goes way beyond that into sheer stupidity.

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  • Desiree Erotique
    October 15
    2:49 pm

    Just my two cents worth – anyone who sells stuff with titles like, “Blogging For Dollars” and “Super-Fast Money-Making Web Sites For Writers: Join The Web-Publishing Bonanza” just doesn’t strike me as a person with much experience in writing fiction, and even less about writing anything with a soul to it. Unless, of course, making “fast bucks” is soulful.

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  • Kayleigh Jamison
    October 15
    2:59 pm

    Holy snapplebaums, dude. That’s got to be the most asinine thing I’ve heard this week.

    But then again, it’s only Monday.

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  • Casee
    October 15
    3:40 pm

    Wow. In that case, I better get to work. *snort*

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  • Ann Bruce
    October 15
    7:11 pm

    Uh, so I read the blog entry in its entirety and, well, the following sounds like the first step in plagiarism:

    Read the novel again, and this time make notes. Think about writing that genre of novel yourself. Reading as a writer is very different from reading as a reader. If, after reading the book as a writer, you still believe “I can write that!”, go ahead and write your novel.

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  • Karen Scott
    October 15
    7:17 pm

    Ann she/he sounds like a complete numpty.

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  • Kayleigh Jamison
    October 15
    8:28 pm

    Ann, that was what got me, too.

    What a wanker.

    The easiest way to pick out a novice writer, in my opinion, is to read a mss that smacks of another author’s style/characterization/etc. I think that for some it’s a good jumping off point – first we emulate to learn the tricks of the “trade,” so to speak, and then as we progress we develop our own unique style and flavor.

    Case in point: a few weeks ago I came across some old manuscripts of mine – novellas that I’d written when I was about 13 – 15. With each one, I could easily identify the book I must have been reading when I wrote them. One was ridiculously like LJ Smith’s Vampire Diaries, another had the style and flow of Stephen King, and yet another was like Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches only with vampires (*snorts*, that was original). But in my defense I was, you know, 13.

    I think most, probably all, authors have shades of those who influenced them in their work. That’s a-o-kay. But don’t encourage it.

    When you encourage that, you end up with things like this: http://erastes.livejournal.com/176338.html

    Now, as for why…no, no, I won’t go there.

    -KJ

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  • Michele Lee
    October 15
    11:39 pm

    Well does it say anywhere that their method is how to write a good novel? Because there is a difference there somewhere.

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  • Kayleigh Jamison
    October 16
    12:24 am

    Touche, Michele. Good point.

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  • shiloh walker
    October 16
    1:18 am

    okay… here’s how I see it.

    A romance novel is easier to write. For me. I couldn’t write any sort of non-fiction worth reading. Except maybe all the old ghost stories on Mom’s side of the family. So, in a sense, romance is easier to write… for me.

    However, I’d like to see this blogger write a decent romance.

    Writing comes easier to some than it does to others. That’s just a fact. Just as writing certain genres or subgenres comes easier for some than others.

    But unless this guy has actually written and published a couple of decent romances, he really doesn’t know what he’s talking about, does he?

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  • Heather
    October 16
    5:52 pm

    Good point, Shiloh. Very good point.

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  • Dionne Galace
    October 16
    10:29 pm

    For me, writing a romance is very hard. What I excel at, however, (so I’m told) are writing the scenes portraying some mid-20’s angst, cokeheads and pill-poppers having existential crises…

    Man, that shit NEVER sells. 🙁

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  • shiloh walker
    October 17
    12:29 am

    some mid-20’s angst, cokeheads and pill-poppers having existential crises…

    Didn’t that James Frey guy already do that?

    😛 I couldn’t write existential stuff if I had to. Fortunately, I don’t wanna.

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  • Angelia Sparrow
    October 17
    12:51 am

    But of course genre is easier to write than “lit-ra-choor!”

    I mean, romance: meet cute, spat, hump like bunnies
    Horror: something awful happens and there’s probably not a happy ending
    Fairy tale: something awful happens in threes and there IS a happy ending

    Literature: lots of pretentious words, too many semi-colons, no plot, annoying characters and probably no readers.

    (Tongue only partially in cheek. I have a lit degree)

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  • Sara Reinke
    October 17
    10:42 pm

    Thanks for making me laugh so hard I damn near shot coffee out of my nose, Karen. And not for the first time, either, since discovering your blog, LOL.

    If writing genre fiction was easy, any damn fool could sit down at the computer and peck one out in a matter of weeks. I agree with Shiloh — as writers, we all gravitate toward genres that appeal to us and we enjoy writing. Therefore, yes, writing them is easy.

    In my day job, I’m a journalist, and while writing features and articles are simple in terms of the amount of time, effort and energy involved, they’re also harder for me than writing a novel because I don’t enjoy doing it. It pays the bills, sure, but I’d much rather focus on my fiction. Two weeks ago, I met a popular local newspaper columnist and chatted with him about writing. Turns out he really admires me for writing novels, something he said he can’t do because it’s like pulling teeth. He can write news stories all the live-long day, but not books. So it’s all in how you look at things, I guess. 🙂

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