Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday: How Far Would You Go?

It's time for another Road Trip Wednesday, a blog carnival hosted by the lovely ladies of YA Highway.
This week's question:
How far would you go to be published?
OOOH, good question.
This is really one of those THAT DEPENDS sort of situations.
Would I make changes for an editor?
Well, some things, yeah, I'll change. I'll even change some pretty major things. Hell, I'll change a lot of things. I'm of the mindset that editors know what the heck they are talking about, you know? They know what works, they know what sells, and I will take a lot of suggestions to make my ms the best it can be, even if it is not a direction I thought I would go. But some things in my ms are sacred. I won't make my MC Chelsea NOT Korean, for example. I won't make a gay character NOT gay. There are aspects that are not negotiable.
Would I write to a trend?
I'm not going to automatically say no to this. It depends on what the trend is, and if it is something I might have an interest in or want to explore anyway. Will I write something I dislike or have no interest in just because it's trendy? No. (If football books became the next big thing, for example, I don't see myself ever hopping on board.) But will I write something trendy that might also challenge me or be interesting even though it's not my usual thing? Yeah, maybe.
Would I switch to a well-selling genre?
Eh. If I fiddled around with a trend and found I liked it, sure, why not. I don't think I could ever give up contemp, but who knows, maybe there is a paranormal writer hiding within me, waiting to jump out and eat a human. I have no idea. I've never tried to write anything else, so I have no clue if it's something I would like. Maybe exploring it would end up being cool, and then I could get a six-figure advance and a movie deal and boatloads of cash. It's amazing how interesting boatloads of cash can make something look.
The thing is, I like writing. And while I think I have a creative spirit, I'm not all "Oh, I am an ar-teest." I get that publishing is a business and there is some element of "playing the game" that has to be done if you want to be successful at it. And I'm truly okay with that. I'm not going to churn out crap with my name on it to make a quick buck (maybe I'll use a pen name for that...heh), I'm not going to compromise or sacrifice the things I think are important (having a more diverse cast of characters), and I'm not going to do anything I truly hate. But let's be real here, I'm not the "suffer for my art" type.
What about you? How far would you go to be published?
**Have you heard about the Class of 2011: Superlatives Blogfest that I am co-hosting along with Katy Upperman, Alison Miller, Tracey Neithercott? Check out this post and sign up for it! We would love for you to participate!**


  1. I've jokingly referred to myself as a pub-slut, because I'll do anything. While I enjoy writing the genres in which I've sold, I would try a new trend if there was good money to be earned. After all, this isn't just art. It's business. :-)

    Melissa, proud pub-slut.

  2. I think there those out there that like the image of the struggling writer, holed up in his hut, writing for the sake of art and not caring if anyone reads a word he writes. But it's an image. And I really don't believe that anyone serious about writing buys it. We all want to get published, not for the money (well, not mainly for the money--we got to eat!), but so people can read our stories. And I think you're right to add the "that depends..." caveat to these situations. There are no simple answers here.

  3. I'd definitely only switch genres or write for a trend if I felt like a had a story for that in me, but I wouldn't do it just to get published. And I also agree that it shouldn't JUST be for the art.

  4. I pretty much agree with everything you said. I would definitely consider switching to a different genre for the money. I've never tried it, but who knows. Boatloads of cash does sound really good!

  5. Copy and paste and yep, that's pretty much my exact answers as well. Just a lot eloquently put. For me, it's all about "does it feel right." Like marrying a shriveled up old man for money, Can't. Do. It. No matter how poor I am. Same goes for my writing.

  6. I like how you broke it down. I wrote in a genre outside of contemporary just to challenge myself, and I ended up having a blast. Now will that story sell? Probably not--but it helped me grow as a writer. :)

  7. I think you and I have pretty similar feelings on this one. As long as suggested changes or ideas are inspiring and don't compromise the essence of my story, I'm down to consider pretty much anything. :)

  8. I think you're right in that you have to be open to hearing the revision, especially when someone with chops like an editor or agent speaks up. That means you still have the choice of changing things (or not), but you'd be wise to listen.

  9. I love how you pointed out that trends aren't necessarily a bad thing--it's only bad if your heart isn't in it. One of my WIPs is mildly trendy, but it's a concept near and dear to my heart, that I would want to write regardless.

  10. "maybe there is a paranormal writer hiding within me, waiting to jump out and eat a human"

    hahahahaha - love it.

    And awesome list. I would definitely do super extensive revisions, but there are things I'll fight for.

  11. You're spot on here. Really I think it comes down to writing what you love or writing what you want to read. If what you love happens to be a trend, that's great. If not, switching to a genre or story just because it's big isn't the best idea. And I'm with you. Even if football YA blows up, I'm staying far, far away from it. In fact, if sports in general in YA become the next big thing, I won't go there. Besides, I think readers can tell when you're heart's not in it. I know I couldn't fake my way through a sports book.

  12. I agree with you. I'd be willing to make changes to my manuscript based on agent/editor suggestions, to a point. Like you, I wouldn't want to change the race or sexual orientation of a character that I imagined a certain way. I also write contemp YA and right now don't see myself writing other genres, even if they are trendy. I have to write what I love, and for now that's contemporary stories. :)