Tip of the Week: Write the novel that’s in you. Don’t try to force yourself into a genre that isn’t for you.

I realize that on this blog, I constantly tell people what things to write. I talk about genres that are popular and trends in publishing. We discuss different techniques and the different ways they can be used. And this is useful information to use when revising or trying to decide where to send your manuscript when you are ready to look for publishers or agents.

But, and this is a big but, none of this is remotely important when you are writing that very first draft. Then you need to write the story that is in you — the one you need to tell. When you first sit down to that computer, typewriter, or piece of paper, you need to forget that editors want Egyptian fantasy, especially if you can’t stop thinking about that teen problem novel.

After all, two of the biggest kid series in recent times — Harry Potter & Percy Jackson — were not written with the market in mind. In fact, when Harry Potter came out, kid fantasy was considered dead. Just think, you too might be responsible for the revival of a genre.

Remember, what’s written for the heart is almost always better than what’s written for the market.

© Copyright 2006-2011 Madeline Smoot. All rights reserved.
May be excerpted and duplicated for educational purposes.
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