Inside the mind of a fantasy writer

Invisible Rules For Writers

What is better?  Writing for your readers or writing for yourself?

For example, I so want to kill that annoying little chick that supposed to be my main character.  I can’t stand her and I want her to die, she’s not the wonderful person I thought she was going to be when I first started writing the book.  But there is this ‘invisible’ rule see.  One that says readers don’t like when you kill characters they’ve grown to like or have been the main character for half or more of the story.  It makes them mad or something.

So…..

This leads to a question I have asked myself a few times when writing.  Do I write for the favor of my readers or my own.  I’m selfish and I pick my own.

Why?  Because I can.  It is MY story after all.

I also hate when people read my stories and start whining that I don’t follow the traditional mold set up for monsters and other mythical beings.  Like a vampire for example.  I set out last month to write a good vampire novel because that’s like super hot at the moment and I wanted to try my hand at it.  But…. Like always my vampire is not like your vampire or whatever kind of ‘rules’ people have set up for vampires.

Rules about that kind of stuff is stupid.

There shouldn’t be any rules for something that isn’t real.  Well my vampire isn’t dead and he isn’t a little pussy that hides when the sun comes out.  I could care less if someone thinks he should be more ‘traditional’.

There’s all these ‘invisible’ rules I’m supposed to follow as a fantasy writer but if you ever read my stories, I don’t like following rules.  Just like in real life when Mr. Adams tells me to the dishes, I’m so not gonna just to spite him.  It’s like if someone tells me to be good, it makes me want to be bad kind of thing.  So if I don’t follow rules in real life why follow them in writing?

I’m unique.  I’ve always been that way so don’t expect my stories to be traditional.  “And that’s the gist of it.” (Ha, ha, I stole that line from a video game.  First one to name it gets 10 pts.)

So are you a follower or more like the kid in detention?

And please feel free to join me in detention, it’s lonely here and I’ve etched all the dirty words I can think of into my desk…plus a few made up ones.  Did I mention I have candy?  Well I do…

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23 responses

  1. i think your rules are brilliant – especially when it comes to writing for yourself first. i think if you don’t like it your readers won’t either.
    personally i love killing off characters that the reader has grown fond of, it takes the reader on an emotional roller-caster (big dipper?) rather than just taking them where they expected.
    great post

    April 13, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    • I love your take on the question, thanks for joining me in detention buddy!

      April 13, 2012 at 6:41 pm

  2. Completely understandable! 🙂 Unfortunately society seems to reward conformity. Keep your uniqueness; some day that will pay off.

    April 13, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    • That is true. Ha ha, that must be why I’m not a best selling author 😉

      April 13, 2012 at 6:42 pm

  3. TheOthers1

    Writers should write for themselves. Many times when you do, the readers tend to like it. I think if you write the demise well it’ll go over okay, but many people will still probably take issue with her dying. Do what you want though. It’s your book.

    April 13, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    • I think the key to making it okay is as you said, writing it well. There will always be that annoyance with the reader when you kill someone off, no matter how well you write it. I think it has to do with people reading to escape from reality. Death is a big part of a reality that readers want to avoid. They want that happy ending, even though the chances of that happening in real life are very slim.

      April 13, 2012 at 7:09 pm

  4. It wouldn’t be art if it had rules.
    😉

    April 13, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    • Well said! 🙂

      April 13, 2012 at 8:18 pm

  5. L

    I feel like the best fantasy writers break these ‘rules’ more often then not. Like George R. R. Martin, for instance. He doesn’t care how much you like a character…

    April 13, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    • I like the way you think 😉

      April 13, 2012 at 8:49 pm

  6. write for the reader or yourself? neither. you write whatever makes a better story. and i love the line about your vampire isn’t a little pussy. that’s brilliant, and more brillianter coming from a woman. 😉

    April 13, 2012 at 9:54 pm

  7. I say do what you want. You’re never gonna make everyone happy and there’s always gonna be someone who has something negative to say either way. I think it’s great that you’re a unique writer and don’t follow the traditions of every book or movie that has come out. Who wants to read the same story line over and over? Like you told me before, do what makes you happy!

    April 14, 2012 at 1:09 am

  8. No rules, just write. Whatever makes a good strong story. 🙂

    April 14, 2012 at 4:52 am

    • Good advice 😉

      April 14, 2012 at 9:58 am

  9. But Heidi your vampire doesn’t ‘sparkle’ lol I find it highly humorous that some people habe come up with their rules without doing the research lol My daughter actually did her A level about the vampires popularity in fiction from Polidori’s The Vampyre through Bram Stoker, Anne Rice and up to the Twilight series tha only thing these writers vampires had in common was they drunk blood. Does what I am writing follow rules hell yeah the ones I make up as I go along lol

    April 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    • Sparkling is a little ‘pansy’ for my taste. And I like your last line, I follow those rules as well 🙂 And what’s an A level?

      April 14, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      • Trying to work out equivilant lol here in UK you study at school until 16 doing GCSE’s then from 16 -18 you go to college to take A-levels then if you are lucky on to University to take a degree. Best UK/US equivilant explaination I could find was, A Levels are beyond APs in content, but are equated to the SATII subject test requirement in terms of university applications

        April 14, 2012 at 6:41 pm

        • It must be harder to get into college over in the UK then here. Thanks for the explanation. Now it makes more sense.

          April 14, 2012 at 6:59 pm

  10. borderer

    I think the essence of fantasy is the CREATION of rules. As long as the writer is consistent with her own worldcreation, it will work. As for vampires, I always thought the traditional idea of the undead unable to walk in daylight silly. My own preference is seeing vampires as a kind of mutant homo sapiens, evolved to live on blood, no matter where they get it. Other humans are just easy prey, and very available. They would reproduce slowly, because their numbers would have to be small, to allow for not over harvesting their prey, us! But they would reproduce, and not by biting the neck and letting the prey drink some of their own blood, but in the normal, fun fashion of other hs’s. That would allow for some fun hybrids, wouldn’t it??

    April 17, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    • I like your thinking and yes it would make some fun hybrids! I also think the whole undead thing is silly, so is the not being able to reproduce thing.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:57 am

  11. It’s your story and your rules and while I’m sure you want your readers to be happy and like your work, if you’re not writing what feels right I don’t think it would be right.

    April 28, 2012 at 1:48 am

    • I agree 😉

      April 28, 2012 at 9:05 am

  12. Reblogged this on 42 Webs.

    May 1, 2012 at 5:48 pm

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