Jun 11, 2011

Gimmicks

I tend to hoard a lot of things, usually items I can get for free.  And as a result, I have so many free books I've snagged from my public library I'll never be able to get to them.

I also have way to many writing podcast episodes that I'm always way behind.  For most of the podcast shows I watch, I could delete a lot of the episodes from my feed - they're usually interviews with other authors or editors, and as interesting as those stories are I know I wouldn't be lost without them.

Writing Excuses however, is not one of those. With a tag line of '15 minutes long cuz your in a hurry and we're not that smart', it's a great round table type show where three authors, Howard Taylor, Dan Wells, and Brandon Sanderson (guests too sometimes) sit around and talk craft. I love every episode, they're all so informative and really wish there was a book published that was entirely transcripts of this show.

As the show is now on season 6 and I'm just now reaching the ending of season 2, I know I have a lot of catching up to do.

Anyway, this morning while flitting around and preparing the library I work at to open this morning (a medical library sadly, as it means I don't get access to cool new fiction releases) I was listening to an episode that dealt a lot with gimmicks.

They talked a lot about what gimmicks are, but then made a really good point that while books based on gimmicks can do really well short term, they don't help long term success. I mean, will people really be reading Twilight in 20 years? Or any of the plethora of vampire books that followed? Or in films, movies that rely on special effects and not story telling, can those really turn into movies we'll watch 10 years down the road? 

What does lead to royalty checks later is really good craft, which really, should be common sense.  But it got me thinking if my current WIP is gimmicky.  Well, maybe :/  It could be pitched as one ( The world destroyed in an alien version of cow tipping just screams gimmick, doesn't it?) but the story doesn't revolve around that per say. And this episode got me thinking, do I want to come out with short term popular work that makes lots of money now (like Dan Brown or such) or work that will last but will gain wealth through time and not necessarily in a 'blockbuster weekend' so to speak (like Mercedes Lackey). Not that people really know short story authors anyway...

I mean, at this point I just want to make money writing period, so I hadn't even thought of what type of money I want to earn.  But I guess I'd rather gain the wealth through checks that come years after the book is published, because I kinda like the idea about being known after my fingers are too crippled to type.

But first, I gotta get on the map. So I have to thank Annalisa loads for convincing me to enter a contest.  Which I did earlier today. ^_^

That alone makes this day productive.

3 comments:

  1. Be true to yourself and your writing. If you write what you are truly passionate about, the money will follow eventually. Don't concern yourself with what will make you money, only concern yourself with the story that needs to be told and success will find you. Good luck and keep writing!

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  2. Good luck with the contest - fingers crossed!

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  3. I'm writing, what I hope it commercial crime fiction. I'm not a literary writer. I won't be remembered for years to come for a fantastic piece of work. I just want to write crime that people want to read.

    Good luck with the competition!

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