Writing Fiction? Story, Story, STORY!

John Belushi Toga Party DancingOne thing I’ve noticed over the years and more so now as gaggles of writers are deciding to give it a shot and crank out ebooks? The one thing that matters the most, far beyond all else – is the story.

If you’re writing fiction – there is nothing more important than a really amazing, unique, and interesting story. I’ve read maybe 40 of the top selling books at Amazon and it smacked me in the head today. An amazing plot is the best possible thing you could focus on when writing your fiction book. You should probably spend long hours crafting a masterpiece of a story before getting started writing the book.

How long did it take for Thomas Harris to create the whole Hannibal Lecter story? I’m guessing months.

There are many writers in the world. There are writers that write like every other writer with perfect grammar, tense, punctuation, and all that. They do well when they have a good story to tell. There are writers like me that are more focused on the emotional tone of the book – the hard hitting, dramatic parts, and don’t care that much about the proper rules of writing. If the masses don’t care – what do I care? The meat that matters, is the story. If writers like me have a good story to tell – they kick ass in sales just like the first group of writers.

What I’m saying is… writers used to be a dime a dozen. In this new digital book age, writers are a dime a thousand.

We’re lucky to have a lack of competition at the moment at places like Amazon’s digital Kindle books. Writers that have written great paperback books can’t even sell them online at Amazon because they signed away their digital rights to the paperback publishers. Over the next 5 years those writers will have smartened up (most of them) and will start writing for online publishing and keeping their digital publishing rights.

When they do, the competition is going to get fierce. In 5-10 years when everyone in the world that ever thought of writing a book, realizes they can, there will be a glut of books online. We thought there was a glut of paperback books and the competition was tough before?

Soon it will be much, much worse.

And guess what? Those writers with awesome stories to tell are going to still be killing it. Those writers with perfect grammar, punctuation, syntax, and spelling – but no great stories? They’ll be writing for themselves because nobody will read it. I’m writing this post because all I see at writer’s blogs are articles about how to write perfect sentence structure. How to spell commonly misspelled words. My professor cared about sentence structure. Spell-check cares about misspelled words.

When you write – write to make an impact on people. Your story must make an impact. Your writing style, the tone of your writing, these must make an impact. Your cover, description, and reviews should all make an impact.

Your writing skills beyond being able to write at an A level in college? Don’t spend a minute worrying about it.

Why?

Because 90% of all readers can’t tell what is right or wrong English anyway. The masses don’t have any idea what is proper and what isn’t.

Are you writing books for writers, or writing for readers? Before ebooks you had no choice – you wrote for writers. You were writing for an agent and publisher because they had to approve your book before it ever got published. That piece of the puzzle is completely gone now. Forget writing for agents.

I write for readers. If writers get anything out of what I write in my books, that’s a plus.

If not?

I’m still able to sleep 3 minutes after my head hits the pillow. Writers are not the focus, or even a consideration when I write.

Monstrous ideas, and solid follow through… getting the books written is what is important. Most of the blogs at writing.alltop.com are about how to follow the rules of writing.

I say forget about the rules and write for readers. If you’re writing for academics – then follow the strictest criteria. If not, fuggetaboutit.

Please, if you will… bow your heads for three minutes with me please and let’s chant together…

Out with the old.
In with the new.
Story, story, story, story…

(Repeat 27x, gradually increasing in volume and tempo and finishing with a pounding crescendo of STORY STORY STORY like the Animal House toga party chant Belushi screamed, TOGA TOGA TOGA. Anyone remember that, or did I just date myself right out of readership? Kids, if you haven’t seen that movie, look through your parents VHS tapes and wonder what it was like living in the Golden Age of Awesome. )

Writers! Need a new notebook computer? The fine-points of selecting a new notebook with an AWESOME keyboard. Keyboards for Writers.
Best Notebook Computers for Writers in 2017? (HERE'S our top 6!)