In his Medium article There Are 2 Kinds Of Writing. The Best Kind Plays At This Intersection. Nicholas Cole argues that the two kinds of writing are Stories and Articles.
Stories are written by writers who write because they have a story they want/need to write. Articles are stories (or they can be factually based articles in the traditional sense) which have been written with a specific audience in mind.
Read the article, Cole is a great writer and gives a lot of good advice.
If you haven’t read the article yet, or you are happy to go along with my very simple summary, then here is what resonated with me.
I submitted my first completed novel to a very successful agency. I discovered who the agents for my favourite novelist in that particular genre was and started there. I think they had seven of the best-selling novelists in the top twenty, with at least four in the top ten.
They were very polite about what I had written, but passed on the book.
As soon as I read their email, I understood the mistake I had made.
I say mistake – I had written the novel which I wanted to write. I enjoyed every page of writing it. I enjoyed writing the extra bits after my eldest son gave me feedback from reading the draft.
However, I had written a story in a genre which was different to all the other best-selling novels in that genre.
Next month, I will rewrite the story – I have another novel to finish this month – paying more attention to the conventions of the genre and what readers of that genre generally buy. I won’t be selling out. I won’t be completely rewriting it, but I will be making changes which is likely to get it more attention.
So, what are your currently writing? Stories or articles? And how can you meet somewhere in the middle?