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I'm working on my will to live.
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I found this draft I guess I had never hit publish on. It wasn't too bad. It is probably more beneficial for the beginning authors of the world, but there might be something useful in it for others, I suppose.

"How do you write a novel? Wait, don't tell me. This is about how I do it. Your mileage will vary wildly.

I'm a genre writer. That doesn't mean what you think it means, to me. I write books in all genres. So far, I have a thriller, a romance, sci-fi, adventure, fantasy, erotica, a mystery, and, well, other stuff. I'm starting to lose track.

So the first thing I start with is what genre I'm going to approach. That, I find, makes the rest a lot easier. Having a defined genre actually gives you the freedom to mix and match. If your structure is that of a thriller, say, you can work in subplots and themes from other genres with the confidence that when you're done, it will be easy to categorize, but can actually satisfy readers of different tastes.

My biggest tip? If you don't have a romantic element in your books, try again. That doesn't apply to every book, of course, but it's sort of a rule-of-thumb of mine that has worked well for me so far.

Here's the thing: I don't read romance books. From a clinical standpoint, I don't even like them. I would say I've never even read any. However, I have read a lot of Jackie Collins, Sidney Sheldon, and things like that. But there's a big difference between those sort of books and the romance mill novels that are consumed in bulk monthly by my Aunt Rochelle."

More here, of course:
https://jasonzchristie.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-process.html?m=1
 

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My biggest tip? If you don't have a romantic element in your books, try again. That doesn't apply to every book, of course, but it's sort of a rule-of-thumb of mine that has worked well for me so far.
everything you said right there makes a ton of sense... i wished i had read up on something like that when i started! especially the bit about inserting themes of romance regardless of genre... growing up, i was one of those people who always moaned whenever the designated 'love interests' would make their appearance in any movie i watched, but now after spending a few years doing this gig i finally understand that those often maligned hollywood executives knew what they were doing all along! i was the one who didn't get it!

so as someone who has always tried to resist the urge to conform to genre mandated tropes for years before seeing the light, i can wholeheartedly endorse this sentiment! and from my personal experiences i can tell everyone that going against conventional tropes might seem cool but doing that is also like trying to swim upstream... i mean it can be done, but you are putting in so much extra effort with little to no extra reward other than maybe humming 'i did it my way' afterwards thinking of yourself as some sort of a poor-man's frank sinatra, or maybe that's just me!
 
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