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Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Giving What They Want/Getting What I Want - IWSG August 2022


Welcome to IWSG Day. The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a haven for insecure writers of all kinds. IWSG is the brainchild of the amazing and generous  Alex Cavanaugh. Thank you to the August co-hosts: Tara Tyler, Lisa Buie Collard, Loni Townsend, and Lee Lowery! To read other contributors to IWSG click here.

August optional question: When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original, or do you try  give readers what they want?

Confession? I set out to write a story, all I want to do is get something readable onto the page!

That said, it seems to me anyone who writes in a specific genre is trying to give a reader what they want. I write women’s fiction so in each of my stories the main character is a woman who has encountered some significant life-challenge she needs to overcome. That’s what my readers should want to read. To keep them immersed, though, the details need to be unique and compelling.

Recently, I was reading The Last Thing He Told Me, by Laura Dave, and something completely unexpected happened in the action.  “Oh. My. God." I said. Apparently my exclamation was on the energetic side because my daughter poked her head in from the other room.

“What’s wrong?”

“Sorry. It's all good. I’m  reading and the story surprised me.”

My daughter may have rolled her eyes, but I thought, Holy Moly, that's some writing! 

On a non-IWSG-related topic, my neighbors took down a bunch of dead hemlocks on their side of the property line and I'm tickled beyond belief. Now, rather than scraggily bushes, there's a clear view of  summer sunsets. I haven’t included many of pictures here lately, but the other day I took about fifty shots as a storm started to muscle in. Unbeknownst to me,  my daughter took a picture of her own.


Here's what I got.

Do you have a view of summer sunsets? What do you consider when you begin to write a story?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is an amazing sunset! And looks like you have a very nice backyard.
It's a rare story that can surprise one that much.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I enjoyed that book, too.

Gorgeous sunset photos! Just yesterday, I was looking at the sunRISE from the front window. Lovely!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Gorgeous pictures. I got rid of my scrub along my back lot line last year. I'm so happy I did.

I agree that there are certain rules/expectations in certain genres. You can still be unique and meet these expectations.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I had a clear view of sunsets until 20 some years ago when someone built a tall house in my site line. :)

We definitely need to write what we enjoy reading or anything on our minds actually. Hopefully there will be a reader for it.


Nick Wilford said...

That's a good point that any genre comes with restrictions in the form of certain things that are expected. I think as writers we follow them almost unconsciously. But a good writer puts their own spin on things.

I don't mean to disparage your own skills, but that sky looks amazing in that first shot! You could isolate that and use it in the backdrop for a fantasy cover.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Beautiful photos of those sunsets!

Sandra Cox said...

Oh my gosh, what beautiful pictures. And what a nice sum-up of women's fiction.

cleemckenzie said...

Something must have really been different in that book to shock you like that. I love to be surprised and engaged by a good story.

Beautiful pictures!

Victoria Marie Lees said...

Beautiful sunset photos, Liza! I love taking sunset photos at the top of Big Pocono State Park by my house.

I love when stories surprise us. Great post here. Have a beautiful day!

Jan Morrison said...

Yes! Surprised is such a great reaction.
As to sunsets this house we moved into three years ago is our first for sunsets. All the others were sunrise homes. Fitting at our time in life!

Joanne said...

Ahh - you know I love your photography. Great shots!
As for writing, I agree - you have to know your audience, your plot probably does tick some boxes, but good writing wins out. And yes, I've had those surprise moments and they are awesome as a reader. I also will just appreciate some great descriptions or dialogue and say "Damn, wish I'd written that."
And, no sunset shots for me - it's still 100 freakin' degrees here at sunset in TX - we are beyond crazy from the heat (and the electric bill for our air conditioning - ha!). Cheers - keep writing and keep that camera handy!

Damyanti Biswas said...

Wow, what a beautiful sunset! For some reason, I thought the first image was a forest fire. But then I quickly realized it was the sunset's fiery color.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I think you head it right on the head about expectations but still being able to dazzle. Lovely sunset and I like your perch to get those shots.

Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

Genres are definitely made up of conventions that are written for the specific audience that reads it, and so that's so true that they're made to write what people want. Within that, the best kind of stories are those unique stories that both write to the genre yet give something new and/or original.

Arlee Bird said...

Writing something readable should be every writer's goal. If the writing is good enough I can read just about any genre.

Beautiful photos. I used to take a lot of sunset photos. Now I can see some beautiful sunsets behind the industrial complex view behind my house. I look at them and think they would really look nice if I had a view of the ocean, but that's maybe 10 or 15 miles from my house. I guess I could take pictures of industrial warehouses with the colors of sunset behind them, but it probably wouldn't look all that impressive.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Beautiful photos. I love tree silhouettes against the sky and used to have my art students try to capture them in soft pastels. As for what do I consider when I begin to write a story? Well, I usually just have a scene or voice or thread of a line that occurs to me and keeps occuring, and my response is curiosity: "Where is this going? Who is that? What's next?" You can probably tell I'm a panster. :-)