How do you feel about supporting other authors? There are a lot of us fiction writers around, and we all have stories to tell. Will all of us be successful? In part, that depends on our definition of success. If that definition relies solely on book sales, developing a huge fan base, and making enough money to live the "good life," we might not succeed.
On the other hand, if our goal is to write a great book that appeals to a variety of readers; if our stories touch the hearts of those who are struggling with a contentious mate or rebellious children; if they provide a rest stop for a weary traveler who is overwhelmed by the potholes she (or he) faces on life's road; if our characters are fighting similar battles against those our reader encounters; or if the reader has lost a dear friend or loved one in death, we may indeed succeed.
Of course, our genre(s) of choice will likely have a significant impact on the scenarios listed above, which is only a short list of the numerous possibilities. Also, our writing style plays a role in the effectiveness of our messages—and yes, many stories contain messages, whether they are subtle or overt.
Intent, too, affects the presentation of our story, as does the response of the reader. Do we write a lighthearted book intended to entertain the reader, or have we broached a serious topic that has tainted the lives of many people today? Are we taking a side on an issue that affects s significant number of the reading public? Are we striving to create one of the first stories that brings solace to many victims of a recent catastrophe—hurricanes, tornados, school shootings, acts of war, etc.? If so, does this make us competitors?
If we are entering a writing contest, we are definitely competing with fellow authors. Is the same true if we write a story about, say, child abuse and scores of others are writing or have written similar stories? Are we competing with them? Not necessarily. We all bring something different to a tale about sexually abused children. Our characters typically are unique to us, and the way we present the story will likely be equally unique.
Editor Linda Lane has returned to her first love—writing—while still doing occasional editing. Her character-driven novels, although somewhat literary in nature, remind the reader of genre fiction because of their quick pace. They also contain elements of romance, mystery, and thrillers. You can contact her through her website: LSLaneBooks.com