Elementary my Dear Reader

By: Peter

So, Lesson Six came and went. Basically as I have mentioned in the past, Holly is teaching us not only how to write a book, but how to have a successful writing career. Part of this is knowing your market, or what we would call the genre you want to target. Or in the case of this course, the genre for the project (a.k.a. Novel) I am working on. She provides us with all sorts of tools for determining what genre our project will fit into. But not only that, she forces us to look at how our project might fit other genre and what those genres might be. Not the easiest thing to do – harder than I thought. But if you want to make a career out of writing, you better know what markets to shop your work around to; which ones are currently popular, and which are on the down turn. Not that you should ever write just to be commercially correct. But once you write what you have passion for, you should know where you can sell it (after all it is called a career for a reason). Most stories can be sold to a variety of different markets with minor changes here or there.

Then, not actually part of the Lesson, but something that came out of the Forums related to this Lesson was figuring out who our audience might be for our writings. To do this we had to figure out elements we liked ourselves and what we would want to write. So, as a special treat, below is my List of Elements. Not every Element is in every story, but you will see a lot of them captured in each story that I hope to write (and the five stories I started over the last 40 years and never finished — but some day :) )

• Love Stories
• Young / Initial (sometimes humorous) Love
• Relations are VERY important (family, friends, allies, enemies)
• Humor

• Big Epic story with strong, yet underdog and realistic, Hero(ine)
• Lots of Action, but only as part of a really good storyline
• Logical storyline (NO crazy unrealistic solutions to problems – I don’t consider magical stuff as unrealistic – I mean like something that is done because the author can’t figure out how to get out of a sitatuation)
• Warfare with lots of heroics and strong, but realistic, villains
• Medieval and other historical environment period themes (though not necessary Earth history)

• Lots of dialogue with a good amount of both humor and drama between characters
• Depth and variety in Characters – Strong Protags & Antags
• No one is all good or all bad (evil people just have a much higher percentage of bad) – everyone has motives for what they do

• Wizards, Shamans, & Elves
• Mythological peoples (e.g. Brownies)
• Fantasy creatures (e.g. Giant Wolves)
• Good and Evil Spiritual entities

I am on to Lesson Seven and it is going to take quite a while. We actually start building the plan for our project (characters, conflict, etc.). So I may have a couple of Blog Posts related to Lesson Seven coming up. But I should have some real interesting things to report out of it. In just the early stages I have already made some changes to my planned novel based upon some feedback from the Forums. But that will have to wait until my next Post. After all, it is pretty Elementary stuff :-)

3 Responses to “Elementary my Dear Reader”

  1. Kirsten says:

    So many things are on that list that I would love to read! I especially like your breakdown of the so-called bad guys. I’ve always felt that bad guys, to be more convincing, must believe that what they are doing is for the good of all, not just what best for themselves. To me, they’re scarier that way.
    I can’t wait to see what you come up with. The exploits of Willow and your Inner Editor (does he have a name?) are so entertaining, that I’m sure your characters will be equally enthralling. :)

  2. Jamie Ayres says:

    Kuddos for a great blog post and ditto to everything Kirsten said *waves to Kirsten* . . . I found your blog through her Hopscotch post today and am a new follower~Cheers:)

    • Peter says:

      Thanks Jamie. I appreciate it that you would take time out to join me on my journey. Hopefully you will find it entertaining and maybe even somewhat interesting at times :)

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