Writing for yourself or the reader
I had recently filled out an author interview for a blog and was reading other author interviews, when a thought struck me. I noticed that author’s comments seemed to filter them into two categories: those who wrote for themselves, what they wanted to write, and they in turn hoped people would also like it. Then there were authors who write specifically to meet the perceived needs of the reader. I realize I have done both, with two different series of books, and it made me go “Hmmmmm.”
I can’t say either is good or bad, right or wrong, but it made me think- do I write for myself or the reader? Based on feedback from friends and sales, I’ve tried to make some small changes to things, but if I stray too far then I’m wandering off the vibe I am riding when I think of my characters. There are certain things that I feel need to be done certain ways in my stories, and compromising too much would alter the story itself, or at least the way I wanted to tell it. However, if I changed things enough, would I sell a whole lot of copies? Would I appeal to a greater audience? But, then, would it still be fun for me to do?
Unless your name is Patterson, Rowling, Clancy, etc, you’re probably not living high on the hog as a writer, so it should be something fun that you WANT to do, not something that you feel isn’t your own creation. I am always open to constructive criticism, and actually have tried to follow some of that advice, but I guess it will have to be up to the readers to decide if they like what I’ve done with the place!
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