Reader Friday: Are You Writing What You Like To Read?

image“Write the kind of book you like to read,” the popular advice goes. Think of your favorite book. Does it resemble your current work in progress, and did you use it as an inspiration?

24 thoughts on “Reader Friday: Are You Writing What You Like To Read?

  1. Definitely. Writing is far too long and involved a process to write something I don’t want to read. And my favorite fiction, western, isn’t as popular now as it once was, so it’s imperative for me to write what I love to read, otherwise I’d have no fiction to read. I also write from angles that don’t tend to get used in today’s fiction.

    • Then sounds like you’re on the right track, BK! Wish I could say I do the same, but I normally only read nonfiction. Thanks for stopping by today!

      • Ah, if you throw non-fiction into the ring, that changes my answer. I probably read 98% non-fiction but I have never written non-fiction (I don’t feel like I’m expert in any given topic to be able to do so). I do have a few ideas for health & fitness related and writing related non-fic titles, but it would be a long time before I ever felt I had the cred to do so.

  2. Absolutely. I agree with BK. If we didn’t want to read the stories we write, we can’t expect others to, I suppose. Hope you have an amazing weekend!

  3. Definitely write what I want to read. As Sue said, how can we expect others to like a book if we don’t? If you’re writing something you don’t like, it’ll show.

    • I have to confess, Terry, I literally didn’t know there was a genre called “cozy chick lit mystery” until I’d already written one. I wrote it after finding one book that had a voice that sounded like something I knew I could write. The first time anyone called it a “cozy”, I thought they were insulting my writing. (And yes, it definitely shows that I don’t read that kind of book. It’s a Character flaw of mine!) Whenever I’ve tried to write the kind of book I actually like to read, I have found myself struggling and spinning my wheels. Like everyone else, I still have a LOT to learn! 😉

  4. I like thriller, historical fiction, and biography. I have to work hard at not conflating them. Historical fiction demands accuracy. Thriller bogs down in too much ancillary detail.

  5. You got me at historical fiction and biography. Memoir is still at the top of my list, but since it’s limited to the me and I, pov, I prefer hitorical fiction. A new genre was supposedly named from Erik Larsen’s book, The Garden of the Beasts, called, “novelistic history.” Timothy Egan and Jon Krakaur also write in that style.
    I read every biography and auto-biography book in the library when I was a teen.
    I loved to look at the world from other people’s POV, especially if it was based on true events.
    I just recently began reading novels. They have to be written so well that I forget that it’s a novel. My list of favorite novel authors is growing.

  6. I’d like to be writing mysteries, but the market seems to demand that the investigator have issues and conflicts over and above solving the mystery (assuming it’s not also a thriller where the perp is an active antagonist). This is frustrating me. Sherlock Holmes had quirks and “habits,” but I don’t remember him having conflicts and issues that came out in the story; and he’s only occasionally in danger or in direct conflict with the baddie. Nor did Poirot have more than quirks. (The only time I remember him in danger was _And Then There Were None_.) For that matter, the Rebus stories I’ve read only hint at his personal life and issues. Why do my beta readers insist that something other than solving the crime be “at stake,” or that my investigator get in danger? So often when people do include issues or conflicts, they end up being hokey (e.g., the conflict between the civilian detective and law enforcement is almost ritualistic).

    Anyway, I’m working at creating issues for my characters. But it takes me away from clues and logic and detection.

    • Interesting question, Eric. This is only my opinion, but I would suggest that readers’ tastes have changed (evolved?) in certain ways since the days of Sherlock Holmes et al. For the better or worse, it is not for me to say. People get bored when old formulas become too familiar or well known–as writers, we have to keep pushing that envelope. The results of that pushing are unpredictable, as the age-old warning goes.

      • “People get bored when old formulas become too familiar or well known–as writers, we have to keep pushing that envelope.”

        I guess. Maybe I’ll figure a way to create my own bulge in the envelope.


  7. Definitely. I wrote traditional mysteries when I started — 30 books ago. Then my taste (and writing) changed to cozies. My latest series, Angela Richman, Death Investigator, is darker, but my view of life has darkened as I get older.

    • Isn’t that the way life goes, Elaine? Right about now I feel like writing a dystopian political/Scifi thriller about the end of life on earth as we’ve known it…

  8. I definitely write what I want to read, since otherwise I’ll never get to read all of those books I’m dying to read that nobody happens to have written yet. 🙂 Really, though, that’s kind of how it works for me. One of my long-time favorite authors is the late Elizabeth Peters, particularly for her Amelia Peabody and Vicky Bliss series. The combination of mystery, humor, intellectual interest (whether historical, artistic, or academic), suspense, romance, and sparring between the sexes hits just the right spot for me–and her many fans. My own novel-in-progress incorporates some sci-fi, too, but Peters’ voice is always at the back of my head somewhere as I’m writing fiction.

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