ARE YOU USING YOUR AUTHENTIC VOICE?
How many times have you been asked: So, who do you write like?
Irritating, I know. But the fact is, agents and publishers tend to have the sheep effect: If this one works, others just like it should follow the same path. They want more of what’s selling and if you aren’t it, many times you get the old rejection letter. And by the time you decide to play the game their way, giving the length of time between acceptance and actual publication, the market may be saturated. And that transmits into not so stellar sells. Which means you may not meet your advance, which in turn, translates into: Thanks but no thanks the second time around or you are pigeon-holed into a genre and can’t get you agent to “buy into” another genre.
Sometimes it seems like you can’t win, huh.
I realized early on I wanted to write in any genre I chose. Was I a hard “fit” for an agent? Sure. But I kept writing and publishing in various venues and soon, I had a following. People always knew, they never knew what to expect from me. I’ve written short stories, mystery/suspense (my favorite), erotica, quasi-Christian and mainstream. Bottom line, I write what I’d like to read in a novel. And if that “like” takes me down a different path than my last book, so be it.
Your authentic voice makes you stand out from the homogenous crowd. It makes a new reader take notice and cruise the net for your other works. It validates your soul when you get the email stating, “This novel is so different from the rest!” Blush. Blush.
I feel that as a writer, taking chances in your writing style is a good thing. The “sheep” may not notice it right away, but stay true to yourself. Eventually, “they” will get it and come calling.
Hopefully, the next time the question is asked, “So, who do you write like?” You can respond, “Me.”
Thanks for having me.
Get to know Sydney and her writing at her website.