I am throwing this question into the mix as we go into the weekend. Although I am suddenly aware it’s the last Friday of the month and I have been so busy I’ve not had time to think about Fiction Clinic, but we will have it next month. But this question is on my mind for personal reasons and also because of things I’ve heard talked about recently amongst writers.
So I thought I would throw it out there and see what you think?Here it is again: Should you write what feels natural … or what you think the agent/publisher wants?
I write from my heart. I don’t try to be any one thing or the other … apart from good, and that is something we have to keep working on. My short stories tend to feel more literary, some of them, my novels more commercial, but I don’t force it to be something it’s not. I love good literary writing, I love good commercial writing … actually I prefer to think I love good writing full stop and let’s leave the classification to the agents and publishers. But when it comes to seeking that elusive agent or big publisher, where the decision has to be a commercial one … should we forget what the heart says and do what’s expected to get the work out there … or stay true to what comes naturally?
In my case I am writing a lot of things set in the US in my novels which is a distinct stumbling block when it comes to representation … but should it be? Because this is something that has come to my attention recently it’s made me look at the current novel that for what it’s worth I am really excited about and feels as if it’s coming along well … I had one of ‘those’ moments yesterday when I thought … yes, this is working. But since writing is like the wind — it changes from day-to-day, what I wrote yesterday might be deleted today … you know what I mean I’m sure. But it is about a US reporter. I had thought about whether she now ought to be a UK reporter but it means changing the story so much, and since voice is the one thing I love the most, the whole voice would change. So I pose the question… do I write it as it is (60 K in now) or rework it to make it British, but change it (possibly too much) just so it gives me a better chance of getting an agent?
I think I need to stay true to the voice of the novel and what it is now … but it is something to think about.
What do you think?
And on that note I bid you all a fantastic weekend.