Writers, I’ve got a treat for you! Cynthia Sax was kind enough to share her advice on writing…thank you, Cynthia! [Geeky Dar note – I love her sexy heroes. Sigh!]
Cynthia Sax’s Insights For New Writers
When I first started taking my writing seriously, I would ask more experienced writers what the ‘rules’ were. The answer was almost always the same. “There are no rules to writing.”
And truly, there aren’t (there ARE genre rules but no writing rules). I’ve seen writers break every single rule I thought was unbreakable and be successful. Writers will share what worked or works for them but that doesn’t mean that will be right for you. You’re a different writer writing different stories.
Making Mistakes And Taking Breaks
There are also no lethal mistakes in this wonderful business. I’ve made a gazillion mistakes and I still have a career. One of these days, because I take quite a few risks, I’ll make a career-destroying mistake. All this means is I will have to reinvent myself under a new pen name.
Knowing that, I can be brave and try things.
Taking breaks is allowable also. I walked away from SciFi Romance for over a year (due to a messy situation with a publisher). All that meant was I needed to do a little more marketing when I returned.
This is a career we can do at any age. If we need to focus on other areas of our lives, we can do this. The writing will be waiting for us when we return to it.
Reading In Your Niche
This is a constant debate in the writing world. Should a writer read in her/his niche?
I read in my niche. Why? Because every niche has reader expectations, character traits, scenes, settings that readers expect when they pick up a story in that niche. When I can, when it serves my stories, I include these. They make readers happy.
When they don’t serve my story, I often use the differences as marketing points. Cyborg series, for example, often start AFTER the cyborgs rebel. My series starts AS they rebel. Being a cyborg reader myself, I wanted to read a series like that. Many other cyborg readers felt the same way.
The important thing is… I know these expectations.
Reading also reminds me that there are NO perfect stories. I read a book a day and I have never read a story without at least one typo in it. And I learn from the stories. If a scene grabs me emotionally, I’ll dissect it to learn how the writer accomplished that.
Market Vs Love
This is another hot debate in the writing world. Should writers write what we love or what will currently sell?
I look at this the same way I look at reader expectations, writing what I love first and then tweaking the story for the market. For example, the first story I tried to sell to publishers was a dark romantic suspense. At the time, vampires were very popular. Almost all of my story happened at night. Looking back, I realize it would have been so easy to make the hero a vampire. It would have given a fullness to his character, served the story, rather than detracted from it, and it would have brought something different to the vampire niche.
Right now, I have a list of 100 story premises I’d like to write. Story premises are added and dropped from that list almost every day. If dark is marketable right now, it makes sense that I write the dark stories on that list. Five years from now, humorous might be in. I’ll write the humorous stories then.
Again, this is what I do, what currently works for me. What are your feelings on writing to market vs writing for love?
Can love redeem a monster?
The Refuge is home to some of the most violent beings in the universe. Kralj, its leader, reigns over the remote outpost with terrifying ease, ruthlessly squashing any rumors of rebellion, killing anyone who breaks his rules. Primitive, deadly, powerful, he’s a monster, scarred both on his face and his soul. He has never met a being he couldn’t control.
Until he meets her.
Dita has one mission—to kill the three targets claiming sanctuary within the Refuge. Or so she claims. For the first time in his long lifespan, Kralj isn’t certain of another being’s intentions. The tiny assassin is immune to his powers, her thoughts unreadable. He can’t predict her movements, can’t control her, can’t stop wanting her.
Dita is rare, as unique as he is, and, to keep the residents of the Refuge safe, Kralj will have to kill her. But first, he’ll touch her, taste her, show her how passionate the beast inside him can be.
Dark Thoughts is a STAND-ALONE SciFi Romance.
The hero might be tall, dark, and scarred but don’t be fooled by his appearance.
He’s truly a monster.
This story is not for readers with delicate sensibilities.
About Cynthia Sax
USA Today bestselling author Cynthia Sax writes SciFi, contemporary and paranormal erotic romances. Her stories have been featured in Star Magazine, Real Time With Bill Maher, and numerous best of erotic romance top ten lists.
Sign up for her dirty-joke-filled release day newsletter and visit her on the web at http://www.CynthiaSax.com.