Friday, June 21, 2013

Vive La Difference: A Writer for Every Reader

Celebrating my 77th birthday tomorrow, and it reminds me of how good God has been in my life. So, I'm celebrating not only another year, but also a God who has given me my dream.

Authors are such unique individuals. We all may think alike as far as our writing skills and knowledge are concerned, but when it comes to topics and styles, we all have our own way of doing things. Some are plotters, planners, and organizers. Others of us are Pantsters and don’t know the whole story until we write it. Those who write mystery, suspense or thrillers have their own way of thinking and keeping their readers on edge until the end. We have gentle, sweet, romance writers who have conflict, but it doesn’t blow up in our face. We have a limited number of true plot ideas from which to draw, but how we present that plot is as varied as the personalities of the authors who write them.

I envy those who can write mystery, suspense, speculative and fantasy. That’s just not me, but I enjoy reading those genres. Perhaps that’s because I don’t feel I am competing with them for a reader base. I want my stories to touch the hearts of my readers as they watch the lives of my characters grow and evolve in their relationships with each other and with the Lord.

The libraries and bookstores are full of books for every kind of reading tastes. If you can’t find something you would enjoy reading, you just haven’t looked hard enough.

Each of us writes with our own style and voice, and that’s how it should be. Being true to ourselves in our writing is what makes our writing sincere and keeps it moving. It also builds our fan base if we strive for excellence in our writing. When the quality of our writing stays true to our voice and style, our readers won’t be disappointed.

So many times we may wonder if that first book was a fluke and if everyone will hate the next one and the one after that. As long as God is helping us write, and we rely on Him to supply us with the stories, we will not disappoint.

With eleven books under my belt and three more contracted, my greatest concern is that the quality will diminish the more I write. I’ve seen it so often in the secular world, but only a few times in CBA authors. Later books by well known, best-selling authors sometimes lose the pizzazz of the first few and the plots and outcomes become much too predictable. That’s what I hope I can overcome and write so that each book keeps getting better rather than predictable.

With my newest release, Love Stays True, I drew on genealogy research into my paternal grandparents and great-grandparents all because of a few letters my father gave me. One love letter from my great-grandfather to my great-grandmother became the catalyst to learn more about their story. The result is the first book of my new series, The Homeward Journey.

Of course in romance there has to be some predictability in the hero and heroine resolving all issues and coming together at the end, but the journey to that end must be exciting and keep the reader turning the pages to find out how the two will finally be together.  

What do you do to make sure each book is as good as or even better than the previous one, especially in a series?


Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Martha, I started reading your new book yesterday.

Mary Sayler said...

Happy Birthday, Martha! Glad you're part of our Christian Poets & Writers group on Facebook so you could let us know about your article. To highlight, I'll post your URL on the Christian Poets & Writers blog - May God continue to bless you and your good work in Jesus' Name.

Jillian Kent said...

Happy Birthday, Martha!
When trying to make each book better in a series I look for a different angle that will both up the interest in the last book and in the one to come. Something that will encourage a reader to go back and read the entire series if they just happened to start with the last one.

Debby Mayne said...

I hope you had a wonderful birthday, Martha!

I'm glad there are so many different types of books because I like variety in my reading.

Darrel Nelson said...

You're an inspiration to us all, Martha. And a great friend!