Write For The Masses!

cha_647_020717110811Why do so many perfectly nice people make such pompous asses of themselves when they sit down at a typewriter?-Dean R Koontz.

Even if you’re not a fan of Dean Koontz’s books, I would recommend finding a copy of his book-How To Write Best Selling Fiction. You want find it in book stores. It’s out of print, but it is still one of the best resources for new writers. You would need to check used book stores, or go on line-which is were I found mine. Now back to the pompous asses.

What Mr. Koontz was getting at, was new authors and not so new authors sit down and try to write¬† A Tale Of Two Cities, The Scarlett Letter, or Moby Dick. The idea of sitting down and attempting to write ‘important and lasting literature’ is pretentious and self-defeating. Keep in mind, these books are seldom read these days.

If an author ignores the masses and refuses to a write a novel with popular appeal, if he chooses to live solely or primarily by the grace of academe, then he will die by academe.

What’s the problem with Academe? The standards are considerably less stringent.

  • Academe views a plot as having little or no use. It is restrictive, impacting the writers imagination.
  • Academe does not worry about pace or filling a story with action.
  • Literary novels seldom have genuine heroes and heroines. The characters are almost always weak, flawed and unlikeable.

Charles Dickens was considered a hack in his day. He was paid to thrill the masses by producing melodrama. His stories were entertaining and relatable.  They have been kept alive for so long by the masses, that the academe finally had to admit that he was a great writer.

Remember, the masses read storytellers. They don’t read academically oriented novelists. They want stories that speak to them.

When you write to please yourself, you are writing to please and individual. When you write to please an audience, you are writing to please a lot of individuals. When you write to please academe, you are writing to please an institution.

Something to think about.

-Jan R


Write For The Masses!

Be Definite, Specific, and Concrete!

imagesT427JLR5Don’t you hate it when you’re talking to somebody and they are all wishy washy? Why can’t they just come out and say it? Most of the time you know what they are getting at and want to spit it out for them. Well the same thing goes for writing.

The surest way to gain and hold a reader’s attention is through definite, specific, concrete writing. Don’t make me as a reader try to figure out what you are trying to say. It’s not my place to write your novel. I just want to read and enjoy. Allow me to enter the realm of your imagination without trying to figure out every little detail myself.


The weather was dreadful. vs. It rained everyday for a week.

He was happy to take possession of his well earned reward. vs. He smiled as he placed the coin in his pocket.

I don’t think I have to point out which sentence in these examples is the more specific and concrete.

Best selling authors are effective because they deal in particulars and report details that matter in a definite, specific, concrete way.

Just something to think about.

-Jan R

Be Definite, Specific, and Concrete!


a5415179-e037-4d8e-a025-aa537938e54a.c10It’s a beautiful day in Raleigh, or perhaps I should say morning. I’ve been waiting all winter for the weather to break and an opportunity to sit on my porch and take in the beauty of my surroundings.

I shut down in the winter. It’s hard for me to focus and create. I’m like a tree that loses it’s leaves and suddenly awakens with the warmth of the sun and the promise of more to come. Not sure that’s a good thing, since winter is three months of the year, and this year it seemed to never end.

I feel refreshed, renewed, ready to jump back in and get that novel hibernating in my computer out and about. It’s amazing what a beautiful day can do.

I’ve kept up with my blog, because it’s a commitment that I feel honor bound to do, but I have really slacked off on my writing. I have two excellent books in queue waiting for my attention, I just haven’t felt motivated.

The winter season wasn’t a total loss. I did read a lot, although I could have probably read more.

Are you affected by the seasons, the weather, circumstances that surround you? What do you do to motivate yourself? I would love to hear your suggestions.

-Jan R