The Easiest Way to Determine What You’ll Write

            What will you write? For some that are just getting started, there may be no tougher question. You see the trends of what is selling, and are tempted to join the bandwagon. You see your favorite books, but struggle to understand how you could ever write something that good. There is a storyline you’ve outlined, but fail to see how you can differentiate it in a saturated genre.

            These are many of the elements that will be nearly impossible to overcome; however, “nearly impossible” is the key takeaway. And overcoming this can sometimes prove who’s capable of making it as a writer, and those who can’t conquer the obstacles. It is going to seem insurmountable at times. So here is one of the easiest methods to determine what you’ll write: look at what you read.

            When you go to the Tattered Cover Bookstore, or the newly opened BookBar in Denver, what section do you bypass? What sections do you make a b-line for? Which authors are you willing to spend the extra for the hardcover the day the books are released?

            What you’ll write may boil down to a key through-line that can carry a narrative. Perhaps you’ll decide once you determine what catharsis you want your reader to experience by the last page. That, in itself, can help determine your genre and narrative. Mystery and horror are much more conducive to more shocking endings that many other genres. If your bookshelves are riddled with specialty press literary fiction, it should be abundantly clear. Granted, you’ll have to accept that the likelihood of being massively published will diminish with such a genre approach in your writing.

            As you begin deciding what to write in your long-term goals and career development, you’ll have to understand what the rules of your genre are. Many of the best writers in every genre have broken the very rules they are supposed to abide by; yet, in order to break the rules, you have to understand them.

            So have you decided what you’ll write? Chime in the comments section with your two cents below, share the work you’ve done. Have questions or comments? Tweet me @thomasafowler with the hashtag #WritersConquest. As always, check in at, where everything I create lands at some point. We’ll see you tomorrow for the Artist’s Hobo Tool, where you’ll see some great tools to not only Establish Your Brand, but Determine What You’ll Write.



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