Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Our Time

Oh yeah, it's real.

A lot of writers say that they write for themselves.  If not mostly then exclusively.

I applaud this.  I cheer it.  I raise a glass of the finest Scotch $4 and pocket lint will buy and toast them for this philosophy on writing.

This means they aren’t concerned with the reader at all.  Their primary reason for storytelling isn’t to guide an audience through their world, and competing in an ever-increasingly competitive marketplace is one of their last thoughts.

Essentially, more agents and publishers for me.


There’s absolutely nothing at all wrong with writing for yourself first, foremost and last.  While sarcasm is generally my default setting, I actually do love this kind of art-for-art’s-sake mindset.  I wish I could adopt it.  I think I would be far less stressed about the next chapter, daily marketing to potential audiences, and being called “twisted” or “sick” by folk who haven't even cracked my ebook.

Do you have a minute to talk about
our Lord and Savior, Morgoth?
Being a writer, let alone a published author, with the goal of connecting to an audience is a constant and uphill fight.  Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and Kevin J. Anderson are all winning that fight.  They step out onto the battlefield like Sauron with the One Ring at the beginning of Fellowship.  Each swings a mighty book, and hundreds-of-thousands of wallets immediately fly open.  Cash erupts in fountains of green like an arterial spray of blood in a Tarantino film.

They still have to fight to connect with audiences, but it’s easier for them.  They’re veteran warriors with specialized weaponry, armor and training.  They have attendants and pages and shield-bearers who take a lot of the heavy-lifting out of the battle.  They’ve built their reputation based on past performance connecting with readers who want to connect with their author again and again.

That’s the goal for me too.  While I certainly write to tell the stories I want to tell, my stories are
All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and
a story written by R.A. McCandless.
meant to resonate and connect with my audience.  Readers are first in my mind when I write any description, dialogue, or plot-twist.  I want them to feel each setback, each success, each sword cut, and each victory lap as the story unfolds.  Because I’m one of the littlest fishes in the huge pond of authors, my readers, all fifty of them, can connect with me directly.  They can message me on Facebook and tell me that Marrin is their favorite character, and would I please tell more of his story in the next book?

Marrin is one of my favorite characters too.  Rest assured, he will have a significant role in the next book.

And so, as Jeff Spicoli so eloquently put it, “If I'm here . . . and you're here . . . doesn't that make it our time? Certainly, there's nothing wrong with a little feast on our time.”

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