Tuesday, July 21, 2020

My Book Out and the Question: Should I Write Different Genres?

My book American Moon: A Chinese Immigrant Story is now for sale on AMAZON!!!

Writers say that the more books they have, the more they sell.  Their fans are often hungry and will even go back and buy previous books they've written. 

Then there's the writer like me who write in different genres.  It's not as easy... someone like me has to build different fan bases.  Those who like American Moon won't necessarily enjoy Mu Shu Mac-N-Cheese and vice versa.  Then there's my literary cookbook that will be more for foodies and people who love folktales from around the world.  Sure, food runs through all of them (guess that might be considered my brand) but different genres have different fans.  And I won't even discuss my screenwriting. So my enjoyment of writing different types of books is fun for me but a self-sabotage in a way.  I'm not down because of it, just aware of it.

Funny,  I even started a screenplay that takes place on a cruise ship that has the same characters on board but goes piece by piece (about 10-15 pages each) in a variety of genres,  a section that's a romance,  another that is horror etc.  It's super fun for me, but it may be a turn off to others because those who like the horror section may not like the romance part.  So again, no clear fan base.  I'm not sure anybody else has gone this route with any success without an already established fan base and, even those, without using pseudonyms. 
 I did make use of it for a long time in my paid BTS Book Reviews column entitled Karen’s Writing Detours

Silly me... but writing in different genres was my instinct/natural inclination.  For now, until something takes off so big I can't resist continuing with it, I'll let it be what it is.

I'd love it if you'd give my novel a try.  It was inspired by my husband's family's experience escaping Chinese Communism, his father's time on death row, a life of poverty in Taiwan until the family makes its way to America where they find the moon isn't always brighter as they thought. I'd love to have you as one of my readers! And to hear your honest thoughts about the book!

From the Inkpot 

Karen Albright Lin

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Elevating to the Profound

I nightly enjoy another episode of Outlander and I'm awestruck by its brilliance (except for one or two episodes out of dozens), about how they lift the everyday into the extraordinary. They’re always elevating things to the profound by invoking standing stones, oceans, the passage of time, life and death, etc. There’s also a lot of blood (because she’s a surgeon, and because of battles) and sex, which seems to ground everything into the most basic and relevant things. I am daily humiliated by the brilliance of what Diana Gabaldon has done, and I think every day. Ditto The Weight of Ink, the book that Unlocked might have been.  I can either give up and feel bad that I’m not as talented and skilled as those authors are, or I can make it happen with the best I’ve got. That’s how I get back to my desk every day.

In other words, feeling your pain, and seconding it.

I’m also really aware that it’s not appropriate for all works to constantly hark back to that level of the elements, eternity, profundity, etc. Every work is different, so there’s plenty of room for us to create our own blend of brilliance... :-)

Strength, patience, and perseverance to us all!

Storm Petrel

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Four Primary Reasons Characters Don't Work

Sometimes a book falls flat.  We read for emotions...which means we read for character.  When editing for my clients, I notice a few things about characters that don't quite work.
I found 4 main reasons characters don't work for me:

- Generic action that could be performed by any character.
- Average dialogue.
- Slow opening scene.
- Uninteresting situation/premise.
Check for these things and maybe it will help improve your chances for a great sale, screenplay or novel...!