How Do they Do It???

May 4, 2006

I was recently reading Stephen King’s “On Writing” and found it highly interesting. As writers, we put our “babies” out there, and hope and pray they succeed in the world. (Preferrably to the tune of sizeable advances, etc..) But is there a formula that successful fiction writers have?

I guess if there really WAS a secret, everyone who knew it would be successful. The fact is, there isn’t one. According to Mr. King: “Fiction writers…don’t understand very much about what they do–not why it works when it’s good, not why it doesn’t when it’s bad.”

This makes a lot of sense. Why can one fiction writer have a blockbuster hit, and then have their next novel be utterly craptastic? An Editor told me once that it’s “all in the wind.” What was poplular yesterday, will be overdone tomorrow…but wait six months and it will be popular again! I prefer the old adage: Today’s Peacock: Tomorrow’s feather duster, but that’s negative, because story ideas are like clothes–you can put them away in your closet and in a few years they’ll be in vogue again. It’s always a cycle.

The point is, there really isn’t a “secret formula” to success in the Fiction writing field. Sure, you have to have talent, and believe in your work, but whatever your genre, you have a chance. There is always a chance.

So, never give up. Keep plugging. Good things happen to those who wait. Wait, and work hard.


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