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Writerly Cast Ep. 3

Alright, it’s that time of the month again, this is the Writerly cast. Before I get down to the show notes though I wanted to mention (to those of you just following the podcast feed) that I’ve started doing a lot of actual blogging on Maximum Geek. I’m trying to cover a range of topics like we do on the podcast, so put the full feed http://www.maximumgeek.org/feed/ into your RSS reader and check it out. Now down to the show notes. This was a pretty simple cast.

Part 1: Where Jeff and I ad-lib trust me, it gets interesting once we get the silly out

Part 2: Jeff and I discuss marketability and what it’s place is in the writing process (hint: Jeff is wrong)

Along the way we also talk a bit about motivation and why Jeff isn’t writing any fiction lately. Good stuff, take a listen and give us some feedback, we actually are interested in what our listeners think, honest. And I know you’re out there, we use up plenty of bandwidth each month. So come on down and tell us what you think. Also spay or neuter your pets (a mention in next weeks podcast to the first person who can explain that last line email me).

3 thoughts on “Writerly Cast Ep. 3

  1. I agree with Jeff that writers should strive for marketability in their work, even if they’re not planning to sell it. But I disagree that the subject matter is a basis for determining marketability.

    If your hobby was woodworking and you decided to make yourself a coffee table, you would probably want to make it with the highest level of craftsmanship that you could. To me, writing for marketability basically means doing the best I can, taking pride in it, and trying to improve my skills. But trying to decide which story to write is like the woodworker trying to decide between a coffe table and a bookshelf. The specific story isn’t what’s important, it’s the craftsmanship that goes into it (I think Josh was trying to make this point but Jeff didn’t seem to be getting it). If the story is well-executed, then that will get readers interested in the subject matter, not the other way around. The craftsmanship of the story is also what will attract agents and editors. If you find an agent who’s only looking to sell what’s “hot” right now, that’s probably not the guy you want to be working with.

    Another thing about the writing business, from what I’ve seen, writers are always moving on to new projects. You can’t assume a particular story will be your big success, you always have to be working on the next one. You can’t pick one story that you think will make your career because there are too many factors outside of your control. If your goal is to be published then you need to finish all of the projects you have in mind and probably a few more. Yes, it’s daunting, but if you want to climb that mountain you have to start walking.

  2. I couldn’t agree more Skorp. I think a lot of marketability comes in the polish and rewrites. You should be crafting the best story you can from the beginning every time from a plot stand point no matter what you’re writing or why. Letting an ever changing market dictate what you write is a good way to never finish anything. If it takes you 5 years to write a novel, who can predict what will be marketable then?

  3. Just came across an article by Cory Doctorow where he says

    … a writer’s first job is to write the best book she can (and likewise, it’s not that she can ignore the commercial demands of the market, but they should not be her first job). The publisher’s first job is to care about the market.

    http://www.locusmag.com/Features/2008/09/cory-doctorow-macropayments.html

    The article is mostly about payment methods (he is arguing against micropayments) so it’s not strictly on this issue, but it is interesting given your experiences in publishing.

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