I posted this on Facebook last night with quite a few more curse words (Add me there! There’s more swearing and talk of cats!). But it’s relevant, even without all the #@$*. You must have a clear vision for your work.
If you have to ask what your own book is about, go back to the drawing board. YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING. You cannot lead a group of readers if you don’t know where you’re going. If you aren’t sure if there’s a romance in your book, start over. If you don’t know how many main characters it “needs”, start over. You’re the one that has to know. Your book has a romance if it needs a romance. Your book has more main characters if it NEEDS more main characters. Every word you put down should serve the story, not what’s commercial, or popular now. The story comes first.
Let me say that again, in bold, in caps, just in case you didn’t hear me.
THE STORY COMES FIRST.
Humans are so funny. We communicate constantly. We communicate through action, through inaction, through body language, through spoken language, through grunts and groans and words and shouts. Writing is just one of the ways humans seek to communicate, and that shit is TOUGH. Writing well is hard work. Why would you labor so hard to communicate if you don’t even know what you’re trying to say?
I’m not talking about surprises here. Twists and turns are essential. Sometimes, in writing, you’ll find connections and angles to explore that you didn’t expect at outline or idea phase. That’s fine. But don’t get derailed. If it works for your story, exploit it. If it doesn’t, set it aside. THE STORY COMES FIRST.