Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Mel Odom (Advice for Novelists, Part 65)

Today we're featuring another response in our Advice for Novelists series. I've asked authors, agents, editors and publicists their response to the question:

"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"

Multi-published author Mel Odom shares his insights today:

Write about the things you want to write about, not what you think will sell.

Most people are not going to get lucky enough to sell a book right off the bat. That means there’s gonna be a considerable amount of time invested in learning the craft. As a new writer, you can get frustrated trying to do what someone else does if it doesn’t come naturally. Don’t fight your natural inclinations in writing just to make it fit into what someone else is having success with. That person’s success is their own. You need to find yours. The only way to do that is to explore what appeals to you and spend time getting to know it well.

The time spent at the computer, legal pad, or whatever it is you write on, is a lonely time. No one else can share that with you. I know some writers jointly write projects, but each one of them writes his or her own piece alone. Make sure you don’t begrudge the time you spend learning your craft. The only way to do that is to write something you believe in and love.

--Mel Odom, author of the NCIS series (includes Paid In Blood, Blood Evidence & Blood Lines), plus many, many other novels. Visit him at his website.

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