How you write and what you write is important.
Maybe you have a burning desire to write a passionate romance crammed full of beating hearts and fleeting love torn apart by circumstance and conflicting needs, you want to make your reader cry and scream all in the same sentence. Or maybe you hate that kind of melodrama and want to delve into the intriguing world of espionage and conspiracy, a dark world of spies and assassins.
Either way, regardless of the subject matter, the journey to creating your master piece is the same. You need to think, plan, plot, market, manage, characterise, summarise, hook, discuss and disseminate your way to a fully functioning novel that attracts the right audience and retains the right readership.
But just one thing before we get started…
Disregard the Myths
There are many myths about writing – most of which I don’t believe, and certainly don’t follow – but none more so than ‘write what you know’.
Personally I think this is insulting to the imagination. If I wrote a novel about what I knew it would be about a girl who works in a shop at the weekend and sits plotting murder in the evenings, or worse, sits trying to figure out the best feed ration for growing geese in the evening! Because that’s what I do, I’m a writer, not a killer!
As a novelist you have the power to write about what you DON’T know, and that’s part of the fun of it. You can be anyone in a novel, you can accomplish the most impossible things from behind your desk without ever having to actually do them (thank God!).
But your story has to be believable and to get round that you need to do research, very thorough research, and learn to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and that’s a skill that takes time to perfect.
So , what I say is…
Don’t write what you know, write what thrills you.
…but be prepared for it to take a long time!